Galileo takes a close look at icy Europa
The flyby was performed in cruise mode without Galileo's gyroscopes, because the gyros activated a fault protection program last Thursday, Sept. 24. The on board star scanner was used instead as the primary reference for determining the spacecraft's orientation in space. Nevertheless, the flyby was considered a success.
Life under the ice?
Hitting the Beach on Europa
NASA scientists have several projects in the planning stages to explore Europa. One is the Europa Orbiter. It would use a radar sounder to study Europa's icy surface and attempt to determine the thickness of the ice and whether liquid water exists below the ice. Other instruments to study the surface and interior would include an imaging device with multiple filters to map the surface at a resolution of 100 meters and an altimeter to measure the topography and characterize the tidal response of the surface. The mission could launch in 2003 and would serve as a precursor to spacecraft that would actually send undersea explorers into the Europan oceans.
Galileo- Europa home page at JPL
Jet Propulsion Laboratory home page
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