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Galileo camera glitch may hamper Callisto flyby
Posted: Thu, May 24, 2001, 10:58 PM ET (0258 GMT)
Galileo at Jupiter illustration An apparent problem with the camera on the Galileo spacecraft may prevent it from taking some or all of images scientists had planned of the moon Callisto. Project officials said late Thursday that voltage readings from the camera were similar to those seen five months ago when the camera experienced problems during a flyby of Ganymede. "We are attempting to get a better understanding of the problem and to do what we can to minimize the loss of images," Galileo project manager Eilene Theilig said. While the glitch may have meant the loss of any images taken so far during this flyby, most of the images scientists had planned are scheduled for early Friday, when the spacecraft makes its closest approach ever to Callisto, coming within 123 km of the outermost of Jupiter's four large moons. Other instruments on the aging spacecraft are performing properly, officials said. This flyby is the last of Callisto and sets the stage for three flybys of the innermost large moon Io later this year and early next year. Those flybys, along with one next year of the small inner moon Amalthea, are the last Galileo will perform before its mission ends in 2003.
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