Moons
Moons

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Moons

7.1.6 Why was Galileo deliberately crashed into Jupiter?

Activity 1

Why do you think the Galileo mission was ended by a deliberate crash into Jupiter?

a. 

So that its instruments could sample Jupiter’s cloud composition before contact was lost.


b. 

Because to leave it in orbit about Jupiter would make it a hazard to future spacecraft.


c. 

To remove any possibility of it one day crashing into Europa.


The correct answer is c.

c. 

Correct. Given that Europa is potentially habitable, especially in the ocean below its surface ice, the mission controllers wanted to safeguard Europa from the remote chance of contamination by any microbes from Earth that might have been inadvertently carried by the orbiter, if one day when no longer under control, it accidentally crashed into Europa.


MOONS_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus