Galileo spacecraft is terminated, by being sent into Jupiter’s atmosphere 2003
Galileo was an American un-crewed space probe that studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies. Named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, it consisted of an orbiter and an entry probe. It was delivered into Earth’s orbit in October, 1989 by Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Galileo arrived at Jupiter in December, 1995, after gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth, and became the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter. Galileo achieved the first asteroid flyby, of 951 Gaspra, and discovered the first asteroid moon, Dactyl, around 243 Ida.
On September 21, 2003, after 14 years in space and 8 years in the Jovian system, Galileo’s mission was terminated by sending it into Jupiter’s atmosphere at a speed of over 48 kilometres per second (30 mi/s), eliminating the possibility of contaminating local moons with terrestrial bacteria.
Extra Note: Galileo also discovered that Jupiter’s faint ring system consists of dust from impacts on the four small inner moons.
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