A NASA space probe to the giant planet Jupiter, launched from the space shuttle Atlantis on 18 October 1989. En route to Jupiter Galileo picked up speed by flying past Venus, in February 1990, and the Earth twice, in December 1990 and again in December 1992. The probe flew past the asteroids Gaspra, in October 1991, and Ida, in 1993, taking close-up photographs. It also witnessed the crash of Comet Shoemaker–Levy into Jupiter in July 1994.
On arrival at Jupiter in December 1995 a small probe was released which plunged into the atmosphere of Jupiter and radioed back information during its descent for 57 minutes until it was destroyed by the atmospheric pressure. Galileo itself went into orbit around Jupiter, surveying its ever-changing cloud formations and moons for nearly eight years until it was commanded to burn up in the planet's atmosphere on 21 September 2003.
http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/ Full details of the Galileo mission to the Solar System's largest planet, featuring images of Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere and its moons.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.