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December 8, 1995
Descent To Jupiter
Hours ago, at about 5:00 pm EST (2200 GMT)
December 7, Galileo's descent probe
slammed into Jupiter's atmosphere.
Above is an artist's vision of the
probe's planned descent from a dramatic perspective.
The protective aeroshell, still glowing from the fiery entry,
is seen falling away,
the 8 foot parachute has deployed, and the orbiter (upper left) is
visible high above the cloud tops listening intently to the probe's
data transmissions. As illustrated the probe may have encountered
lightning, or at lower levels even water rain.
Ultimately, the probe was
expected to be vaporized by the intense
heat deep below the clouds.
NASA controllers have received telemetry signals
from the orbiter indicating that it has recorded
the probe's transmissions
and has subsequently successfully
fired its rocket engine entering orbit around Jupiter.
The first playback of the recorded data
to ground stations on Earth is scheduled for December 10-13.
Congratulations to the Galileo Team!
Tomorrow's picture: Apollo 14 on the Moon
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