December 20 - 26, 1999
Happy Holidays from Galileo as it Continues to Return Images from November 25th Flyby of Io
Happy Holidays! Galileo continues to play back science data obtained by its instruments and stored on its onboard tape recorder. The data were acquired during the spacecraft's close flyby of Io last month. During playback, the data are retrieved, and packaged, and then transmitted to Earth by the spacecraft's main computers. Galileo is in the midst of a second pass through the observations stored on the tape recorder. This additional pass allows replay of data lost in transmission to Earth, reprocessing of data using different parameters, or return of additional new data. Data playback is interrupted twice this week to perform navigation and engineering activities. On Tuesday, the spacecraft executes a small flight path adjustment. On Thursday, the spacecraft performs standard maintenance on its propulsion systems.
This week, two observations are returned by the Solid-State Imaging camera (SSI) and three are returned by the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). Joint SSI and NIMS observations comprise the first four observations returned this week. The first two observations consist of images and infrared spectral scans of the Culann volcanic region. The next pair of observations covers a region of Io's surface near the terminator (or line dividing night from day). This week's final observation is a regional map of Io's surface obtained by NIMS.