Images of Ganymede
Images of Europa
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Image of Amalthea
More Ganymede 2 Images
Galileo's orbital tour consists of 11 different elliptical orbits around Jupiter. Each orbit (except one) includes a close flyby and gravity assist of one of the Galilean moons (Ganymede, Callisto or Europa) near the inner (Jupiter) end of the orbit. Distant scientific encounters with additional satellites are scheduled for a number of orbits, and the spacecraft will observe Io at medium range on every orbit.
The second satellite flyby occurred on September 6, 1996 when Galileo flew by Ganymede by a mere 260 km (162 miles). This encounter is referred to as Ganymede 2 since it is on the second orbit of the 11 orbit tour. The Ganymede 2 enounter is also the closest flyby of any of Jupiter's moons during Galileo's two-year primary mission. Careful targeting allows each flyby to direct the spacecraft on to its next satellite encounter and the spacecraft's next orbit around Jupiter. During the orbital tour, Galileo will fly by Ganymede four times, Callisto three, and Europa three.
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