Station Info :: Nine Planet Solar System ::
Overview of Jupiter :: Jupiter Exploration
A number of probes have visited Jupiter.
Pioneer Flyby Missions
Pioneer 10 flew past Jupiter in December of 1973,
followed by Pioneer 11 exactly one year later.
They provided important new data about Jupiter's
magnetosphere, and took some low-resolution photographs
of the planet.
Voyager Flyby Missions
1 took this photo of the planet Jupiter on January 24,
while still more than 25 million miles (40 million kilometres)
away. Click image for full caption.
Voyager 1 flew by in March 1979 followed by Voyager
2 in July of the same year. The Voyagers vastly improved
our understanding of the Galilean moons and discovered
Jupiter's rings. They also took the first close up images
of the planet's atmosphere.
Ulysses Flyby Mission
In February 1992, Ulysses solar probe performed
a flyby of Jupiter at a distance of 900,000 km
(6.3 Jovian radii).The flyby was needed to attain
a polar orbit around the Sun. The probe conducted
studies on Jupiter's magnetosphere. Since there
are no cameras onboard in the probe and no images
were taken. In February 2004, the probe came again
in the vicinity of Jupiter. This time distance
was much greater, about 240 million km.
Jupiter as seen by the space probe Cassini. This
is the most detailed global color portrait of
Jupiter ever assembled. There is only one spacecraft
to orbit Jupiter and it is the Galileo orbiter,
which went into orbit around Jupiter in December
7, 1995. It orbited the planet for over seven
years and conducted multiple flybys of all of
the Galilean moons and Amalthea .
also witnessed the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy
9 into Jupiter as it approached the planet in
1994, giving a unique vantage point for this spectacular
event. However, the information gained about the
Jovian system from the Galileo mission was limited
by the failed deployment of its high-gain radio
transmitting antenna. An atmospheric probe was
released from the spacecraft in July, 1995.
probe entered the planet's atmosphere in December
7, 1995. It parachuted through 150 km of the atmosphere,
collecting data for 58 minutes, before being crushed
by the extreme pressure to which it was subjected.
It would have melted and vaporized shortly thereafter.
The Galileo orbiter itself experienced a more
rapid version of the same fate when it was deliberately
steered into the planet on September 21, 2003 at a speed of over 50 km/s, in order to avoid
any possibility of it crashing into and possibly
contaminating Europa, one of the Jovian moons.
Cassini Flyby Mission
In 2000, the Cassini probe, en route to Saturn,
flew by Jupiter and provided some of the highest-resolution
images ever made of the planet.
NASA is planning a mission to study Jupiter in
detail from a polar orbit. Named Juno, the spacecraft is planned to launch by 2010. After the discovery
of a liquid ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa , there
has been great interest to study the icy moons
in detail. A mission proposed by NASA was maintained
to study them. The JIMO (Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter)
was expected to be launched sometime after 2012.
However, the mission was made too ambitious and
its funding was cancelled. In 2007, Jupiter will
also be briefly visited by the New Horizons probe, en route to Pluto.
Also see about:
Of Jupiter Moon