Within the Orbit of Jupiter
What an exciting time! Not since the grand tour of the 1970s -- when the Mariner,
Pioneer, Voyager, and Viking satellites returned enticing pictures of
all the planets except Pluto -- has there been as much exploration of
Earth's neighbors. The orbits shown in this image are (from the Sun
outward): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter. There are also several
ongoing planetary missions within this volume of space:
- Galileo -- The exploration
of the Jovian system ended with the Galileo orbiter crashing into
the atmosphere of Jupiter. A wealth of information was obtained over
the 9 years that Galileo orbited the Jovian system. This site contains
the pictures and lessons learned.
- Mars Exploration Program
-- The Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, and current Mars exploration
missions are accessible from this link.
- NEAR -- A close flyby of a
near-Earth asteroid named Mathilda followed by the rendezvous and
orbit of a second asteroid, Eros. This mission ended at the end of
February 2001 with an unexpectedly successful soft landing on the
surface of Eros.
- Cassini -- An exploration
of Saturn and its moons and rings, similar to the Galileo study of
Jupiter: Cassini is due to reach Saturn in June, 2004, after a journey
of seven years. Cassini flew by Jupiter in December 2000, working
in conjuction with Galileo to study the environment of Jupiter.
Copyright © 2016 by Bruce Bryson