This Week on Galileo
December 17-23, 2001
Galileo Focuses on Data Playback
This relatively quiet week is primarily concerned with playback of recorded
data from the October 15 flyby of Io. On Sunday, this routine is
interrupted briefly as the spacecraft executes a small turn in place to
keep the communications antenna pointed towards Earth. During this third
pass through the tape recorded data, we are primarily concerned with
extending the amount of data played back, returning observations that had
not been returned previously, and recovering portions of observations which
were lost in transit during previous transmissions.
Pictures expected from the Solid State Imaging camera (SSI) this week
include views of the active volcanoes Loki and Pele, and high-resolution
images of the scarp or cliff feature Telegonus. The Telegonus pictures were
taken while Galileo was within one minute of its closest approach to Io,
which was at a distance of 184 kilometers (114 miles).
The Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) will be returning its own
views of Pele and Loki, as well as a high-resolution look at the south
polar region of Io.
Data from the Fields and Particles instruments (the Energetic Particle
Detector, the Magnetometer, the Heavy Ion Counter, the Plasma Subsystem,
and the Plasma Wave Subsystem) are also slated for return this week. These
data were collected both during the closest flyby to Io, and as part of an
earlier recording made as the spacecraft passed through the Io Torus, a
donut of charged particles that circles Jupiter near the orbit of Io.
In addition, the steady collection of real-time data by the Magnetometer,
the Dust Detector, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer continues
throughout the week.