OFJ Field Journal from Lou D'Amario - 12/13/95
MISSION (NUMBER 1) ACCOMPLISHEDIt has taken me almost a week to get my feelings about the Jupiter arrival events sorted out. After having worked for over 18 years (my entire career at JPL) on Galileo, it has taken a while for it to sink in that the spacecraft is actually in orbit at Jupiter. Over the past 18 years, I have designed and evaluated a tremendous number of interplanetary trajectories for Galileo -- so many that I don't think I could even estimate the number (hundreds?, thousands?). There were launch dates as early as 1982 and as late as 1989, and the Jupiter arrival dates ranged from 1985 through 1995 and beyond. So many trajectories! Now it's over; the interplanetary phase of the Galileo mission is completed.
I feel relief and a tremendous sense of satisfaction that Probe relay and Jupiter Orbit Insertion have been completed successfully. To think that I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in getting Galileo to Jupiter is like a dream come true. Perhaps the most exciting moment of last Thursday was the instant that the Jupiter Orbit Insertion burn ended. Galileo was in orbit -- a new artificial satellite of Jupiter! But this is just a new beginning. The Galileo orbital tour of the Jovian system has now started.