Explored the Jovian system

Galileo was a mission sent to the Jovian system in 1989. Over a span of 34 orbits, the spacecraft observed Jupiter, its four Galilean moons (Callisto, Ganymede, Io, and Europa), and the asteroids Gaspra and Ida. The Galileo mission made many amazing discoveries, including new information about the storms on Jupiter and the discovery of the likely subsurface ocean on Europa. The mission ended with the spacecraft being crashed into Jupiter to take some final measurements of the Jovian atmosphere.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments

Science Target:


Mission Focus:

Galilean Moons, Planetary Atmosphere

Launch Date: October 18, 1989
Orbit Insertion: December 7, 1995
Spacecraft impacted Jupiter:
September 21, 2003
Mission Duration: 14 years
Other Flyby Dates:

  • Venus flyby: Feb. 10, 1990
  • Earth flybys: Dec. 8, 1990; Dec. 8, 1992
  • Asteroid Gaspra flyby: Oct. 29, 1991
  • Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts of comet fragments into Jupiter observed: July 1994
  • Asteroid Ida flyby: Aug. 28, 1993
  • Atmospheric probe release: July 12, 1995

Lead Institution:NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Lead Funding Agency: NASA Solar Systems

Partners: NASA Ames Research Center, The University of Arizona, More than 100 scientists from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Canada, and Sweden carried out Galileo’s experiments