The Galileo spacecraft was launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis on October 18, 1989. A two-stage Inertial Upper Stage propelled Galileo out of Earth parking orbit to begin its 6-year interplanetary transfer to Jupiter. Galileo has already received two gravity assists: from Venus on February 10, 1990 and from Earth on December 8, 1990. After a second gravity-assist flyby of Earth on December 8, 1992, Galileo will have achieved the energy necessary to reach Jupiter. Galileo's interplanetary trajectory includes a close flyby of asteroid 951-Gaspra on October 29, 1991, and, depending on propellant availability and other factors, there may be a second asteroid flyby of 243-Ida on August 28, 1993. Upon arrival at Jupiter on December 7, 1995, the Galileo Orbiter will relay data back to Earth from an atmospheric Probe which is released five months earlier. For about 75 min, data is transmitted to the Orbiter from the Probe as it descends on a parachute to a pressure depth of 20–30 bars in the Jovian atmosphere. Shortly after the end of Probe relay, the Orbiter ignites its rocket motor to insert into orbit about Jupiter. The orbital phase of the mission, referred to as the satellite tour, lasts nearly two years, during which time Galileo will complete 10 orbits about Jupiter. On each of these orbits, there will be a close encounter with one of the three outermost Galilean satellites (Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto). The gravity assist from each satellite is designed to target the spacecraft to the next encounter with minimal expenditure of propellant. The nominal mission is scheduled to end in October 1997 when the Orbiter enters Jupiter's magnetotail.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Atmospheric Structure Instrument
Energetic Particles Instrument
High Gain Antenna
Inertial Upper Stage
Jupiter Orbit Insertion
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lightning and Radio Emissions Detector
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer
Orbit Deflection Maneuver
Orbit Trim Maneuver
Perijove Raise Maneuver
Pacific Daylight Time
Pacific Standard Time
Radio Relay Antenna
Solid State Imaging
Trajectory Correction Maneuver
Universal Time Coordinated
Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist
Byrnes, D. V., D'Amario, L. A., and Diehl, R. E.: 1987, Galileo Options After Challenger, AAS Paper 87–420, presented at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Kalispell, Montana, August 1987.
D'Amario, L. A., Byrnes, D. V., Johannesen, J. R., and Nolan, B. G.: 1987, Galileo 1989 VEEGA Trajectory Design, AAS Paper 87–421, presented at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Kalispell, Montana, August 1987.
D'Amario, L. A., Bright, L. E., Byrnes, D. V., Johannesen, J. R., and Ludwinski, J. M.: 1989, Galileo 1989 VEEGA Mission Description, AAS Paper 89–431, presented at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Stowe, Vermont, August 1989.
Johannesen, J. R., Nolan, B. G., Byrnes, D. V., and D'Amario, L. A.: 1987, Asteroid/Comet Encounter Opportunities for the Galileo VEEGA Mission, ASS Paper 87–422, presented at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Kalispell, Montana, August 1987.
Maize, E. H.: 1989, Earth Flyby Delivery Strategies for the Galileo Mission, AAS Paper 89–427, presented at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Stowe, Vermont, August 1989.
Mitchell, R. T.: 1988, Galileo Earth Avoidance Study Report, JPL Internal Document D-5580, Revision A (Galileo Project Document 1625–396, Revision A), 4 November, 1988.
O'Neil, W. J.: 1990, Project Galileo, paper presented at the AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, Huntsville, Alabama, September 25–27, 1990.
Yeates, C. M., Johnson, T. V., and Young, R.: 1992, ‘Galileo Mission Overview’, Space Sci. Rev. 60, 3 (this issue).
About this article
Cite this article
D'Amario, L.A., Bright, L.E. & Wolf, A.A. Galileo trajectory design. Space Sci Rev 60, 23–78 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00216849
- Space Shuttle
- Rocket Motor
- Close Encounter
- Orbital Phase
- Minimal Expenditure