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Missions to Jupiter

 

 

Since 1973, nine spacecraft have visited Jupiter. Let’s talk about the most noteworthy ones.

• The first one was NASA’s Pioneer 10 that provided hundreds of Jupiter’s photos and collected some measurements.

 

• The Pioneer 11 in 1974 got three times closer to the planet than its predecessor.

 

• In 1979, the famous Voyager spacecraft discovered the Jovian ring system and took thousands of pictures of clouds and storms on the planet. Those pictures also showed that the mysterious Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm. Moreover, Voyager 1 and 2 discovered dozens of volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io — the first found active volcanoes on another space object.

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• NASA’s Galileo probe became the first spacecraft to enter Jupiter’s orbit; it arrived on the planet in 1995. The Galileo mission, among many other things, examined Jupiter’s atmosphere and immense magnetic field and closely studied the Galilean moons.

 

• Several years later, in 2000, the Cassini spacecraft that was heading to Saturn took some of the best photos we have of Jupiter.

 

• The second spacecraft ever to enter Jupiter’s orbit is called Juno. It arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and will be exploring the gas giant until September 2025 or the spacecraft’s end of life.

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