Galileo Orbiter Spacecraft

Galileo was an American robotic space probe that studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as the asteroids Gaspra and Ida. Named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, it consisted of an orbiter and an entry probe. It was delivered into Earth orbit on October 18, 1989 by Space Shuttle Atlantis. Galileo arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995, after gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth, and became the first spacecraft to orbit an outer planet.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory built the Galileo spacecraft and managed the Galileo program for NASA. West Germany’s Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm supplied the propulsion module. NASA’s Ames Research Center managed the atmospheric probe, which was built by Hughes Aircraft Company. At launch, the orbiter and probe together had a mass of 2,562 kg (5,648 lb) and stood 6.15 m (20.2 ft) tall.