A unique odyssey from the beginning
Galileo lacked the rocket power to head directly for Jupiter. Instead, the spacecraft swung past Venus and twice past Earth to gain energy in slingshot fashion. Here's the odyssey:
Oct. 18, 1989: Launch via Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Feb. 10, 1990: Fly by Venus.
Dec. 8, 1990: Fly by Earth.
Oct. 29, 1991: Inspect asteroid Gaspra.
Dec. 8, 1992: Fly by Earth. On to Jupiter.
Aug. 28, 1993: Inspect asteroid Gaspra again.
July 1994: Watch comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter.
Dec. 7, 1995: Enter Jupiter orbit. Atmosphere probe plunges into planet.
December 1997: Main mission ends.
January 2000: Extended mission ends.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society