goodbye, galileo

NASA has set Galileo, the spacecraft that has been studying Jupiter and its moons since 1995, on a collision course with the planet, the crash to occur this Sunday. The craft, which is running low on fuel, is being directed into the Jovian atmosphere in order to avoid hitting — and possibly contaminating — the moon Europa, a prime candidate for harboring extraterrestrial life. Galileo’s stunning images of Europa a few years back gave evidence that a liquid ocean may exist beneath the moon’s cracked and frozen crust. But, even in its last moments, there will be no rest for the tireless Galileo: The craft will relay a final burst of information and images of Jupiter before impact. NASA will host a panel discussion on the Galileo beginning at 2 p.m. tomorrow and the end of the mission will be webcast live at 3 p.m. Sunday at More information about the mission and some cool pictures can be found at

This news brief appeared in the Random Data column of the Boston Globe’s Health/Science section on 9/16/2003.
This entry was posted in boston globe, news briefs. Bookmark the permalink.