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A unique odyssey from the beginning

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Galileo lacked the rocket power to head directly for Jupiter. Instead, the spacecraft swung past Venus and twice past Earth to gain energy in slingshot fashion. Here's the odyssey:

Oct. 18, 1989: Launch via Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Feb. 10, 1990: Fly by Venus.

Dec. 8, 1990: Fly by Earth.

Oct. 29, 1991: Inspect asteroid Gaspra.

Dec. 8, 1992: Fly by Earth. On to Jupiter.

Aug. 28, 1993: Inspect asteroid Gaspra again.

July 1994: Watch comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter.

Dec. 7, 1995: Enter Jupiter orbit. Atmosphere probe plunges into planet.

December 1997: Main mission ends.

January 2000: Extended mission ends.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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