Originally created 07/31/98

Galileo resumes beaming science data to Earth



PASADENA, Calif. -- The Galileo spacecraft touring the moons of Jupiter is again sending science data back to Earth after a glitch that forced a shutdown last week.

The spacecraft recently began beaming new data back to Earth and by today was expected to begin replaying information recorded earlier, mission officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

Debris short-circuited a signal line in one of two onboard command-and-data subsystems last week, triggering an automatic shutdown.

As a result, nearly all the science data gathered during a flyby of Jupiter's moon Europa was lost. However, scientists expect to salvage some remnants of recorded data that include infrared observations of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io.

On Friday, controllers will have the spacecraft adjust its path to ensure good aim toward a Sept. 26 flyby of Jupiter's frozen moon Europa.

Galileo was launched in 1989 and arrived at the planet at the end of 1995, when it began two years of circling the planet and its four major moons. It's now seven months into a two-year mission extension that focuses on Europa, where scientists suspect the icy crust may hide a frozen ocean that could harbor life.