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On December 7, 1995, the Galileo spacecraft will arrive at the Jovian system. A fully instrumented probe released from the orbiter 156 days before arrival will enter the Jovian atmosphere while the orbiter relays compositional and structural data from the probe to Earth. Over the next 2 years, the orbiter will proceed to 12 encounters with the Galilean satellites Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, at distances up to 200 times closer than the Voyager spacecraft approached. Galileo's special capabilities derive from its long stay in the Jovian system, from the extreme closeness of approach to the satellites, and from its advanced instrumentation.