|MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Jane Platt
February 1, 1999
Galileo Spacecraft Enters Safe Mode following Europa Encounter
NASA's Galileo spacecraft entered safing mode about four hours after last night's close approach to Europa, and one hour after its close approach to Jupiter. The spacecraft is stable and status information received from the spacecraft suggests that Europa observations were successfully stored on the spacecraft's on-board tape recorder. It appears that this latest event is not related to anomalies that occurred during two previous Europa flybys.
The Galileo project team is currently analyzing events leading up to the safing. Preliminary analysis indicates the spacecraft entered safing made after the fault protection software detected that a spacecraft turn was taking too long to complete.
Galileo has spent more than three years studying Jupiter and its moons and has returned a wealth of data. It is currently halfway through a two-year extended mission, focusing on Jupiter's moon Europa. This extended mission is a follow-on to the primary mission that studied Jupiter, its moon and its magnetic environment.