A space probe designed to collect and transmit data about a planet's atmosphere, usually including its composition, pressure, density, and temperature. Such a mission is relatively short, and the spacecraft often has no propulsion, requiring only batteries and equipment to measure and communicate. Such probes are often destroyed by the pressures of the alien environments.
An atmospheric entry probe is usually deployed by the larger spacecraft that transports it to the planet, such as the Jupiter probe launched by Galileo in 1995 and the Huygens probe being carried to Saturn's moon Titan by Cassini for a 2004 arrival. A planet's atmosphere can also be measured by a lander that carries instruments such as the atmospheric structure instrument/meteorology package.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.