Just two months before entry into orbit around Jupiter, NASA's Galileo spacecraft has grown temperamental again. Already troubled by a high-gain antenna that would not open and a primary computer that periodically reset itself, the Galileo flight team now must solve a potential problem with the spacecraft's data tape recorder.
Engineering data returned on October 11 suggest that the recorder did not stop after being commanded to rewind. The spacecraft had shot three photographs of Jupiter and its major moons from 35 million km and stored the images. While preparing the tape's contents for radio transmission back to Earth, the recorder began rewinding and would not stop, making playback impossible.