NASA's Galileo project will provide a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to be part of the flight team on a pioneering interplanetary expedition when "Online from Jupiter" makes its debut on the Internet in mid-October.
Galileo scientists and mission engineers are opening their notebooks to classrooms, museums and the public via the Internet to share their personal observations and experiences working on the NASA spacecraft mission to Jupiter.
From mid-October through January 1996, members of the flight team will write brief field journal entries describing the scientific puzzles, engineering challenges and excitement of discovery as the Galileo orbiter and atmospheric entry probe begin their scientific investigation of Jupiter. The atmospheric probe is set to descend into Jupiter's atmosphere on Dec. 7, the same day the Galileo orbiter begins circling the giant planet for a two-year mission.
"For the first time, we're providing a window on the inner workings and interactions of a scientific deep space mission," said Dr. Jo Pitesky, member of the Galileo Mission Planning Office. "In sharing the journal entries, we hope to give readers, particularly students, an idea of the tremendous efforts that go into controlling and collecting data from a robot spacecraft a half-billion miles away."
After reading background material and the journals, kindergarten through 12th grade students and their teachers can ask project members questions -- via E-mail -- starting in late November and running through January 1996. They will receive personal responses, corresponding with experts on subjects ranging from atmospheric science to navigation to spacecraft systems. An archive of all questions and answers will be available online. In addition, students will be able to take part in on-line experiments that will use actual probe data.
"Online from Jupiter" is the latest in a series of NASA educational initiatives that have taken students from studying the bottom of the Earth's oceans via the oceanographic satellite TOPEX/POSEIDON to the top of the stratosphere in NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) as it flies at 12,500 meters (41,000 feet).
The program is part of the "Sharing NASA with our Classrooms" series, organized by the NASA K-12 Internet Initiative. It is made possible by funding from the NASA Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications program, which is part of the High Performance Computing and Communications program authorized by federal legislation and passed in December 1991.
"Online From Jupiter" can be accessed electronically in several ways:
- For World Wide Web page access: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/jupiter.html.
- For Gopher area access: quest.arc.nasa.gov, see Interactive Projects directory.
- Via E-mail: To receive regularly updated information online, join the "updates-jup" list: Send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the message body, write: "subscribe updates-jup" (no quotes). This places users on an electronic mailing list to receive information.
- To receive introductory materials and other background information, send an E-mail message to: email@example.com.
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