The Galileo spacecraft and its Inertial Upper Stage booster rocket were deployed from the space shuttle Atlantis October 18, 1989. Shortly thereafter, the booster rocket fired and separated, sending Galileo on its six-year journey to the planet Jupiter.


Galileo at Jupiter

The Galileo spacecraft as it passed by Io, just prior to Jupiter orbit insertion, is shown in this artist's rendering. The orbiter will use the combination of a gravity assist from Io and a rocket thrust to enter orbit. Between these events, the orbiter will relay to Earth information received from the atmospheric probe descending through Jupiter's clouds. Note that the high gain antenna (dish-shaped antenna) will not be deployed as shown here, due to malfunction of the deployment mechanism.