Dramatic end to Galileo mission to Jupiter

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Abstract

Galileo, a workhorse NASA spacecraft that overcame numerous technical difficulties to provide important discoveries about the Jovian system, ended its 14-year, 4.6 billion-km mission by plunging into Jupiter's atmosphere on 21 September.

With the 5.3-m-high spacecraft running low on propellant, navigators set its final trajectory to avoid any potential impact or contamination of Europa, a Jovian moon that was found during the mission to likely harbor a sub-surface ocean.

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