NASA/JPL’s unmanned Galileo space probe buzzes Jupiter’s volcanically active moon Io, zipping directly over one of its most active volcanic regions at an altitude of only 380 miles, Galileo’s closest Io flyby to date. But this close encounter, and the fate of Galileo itself, had been in doubt just hours before the flyby: entering Jupiter’s most intense radiation environment, Galileo had entered a failsafe mode in which the spacecraft shuts down until further commands are received from Earth. Ground controllers, called in to work emergency hours on a Sunday, revive Galileo a mere two hours before its close pass by Io.
Galileo vs. the Volcano
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