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OFJ Field Journal from Leslie Tamppari - 12/11/95

I'm writing this a few days after the fact, but boy what a great day last Thursday, the 7th was! Everyone on the flight team and at JPL is happy and relieved that all went well!

I was so nervous while waiting for confirmation that the probe that we dropped into Jupiter's atmosphere was working fine. The signal came about 6 minutes later than I had been expecting, so I was getting very fearful that something had gone wrong. When the confirmation finally came through, I was nearly in tears from the joy of knowing that we had done it! (So was our project management!)

I was in our Von Karman auditorium to hear the confirmation since I had volunteered to help with the press. That was the best place to be! When the signal came through, everyone cheered and hugged each other! The press started snapping pictures of all of us cheering and later came up to interview some of us!

Later on that evening, we got the signal that the big engines aboard Galileo started firing right on time! That was a relief too since if they didn't work right, we would have become a flyby mission instead of an orbiting mission! And again, 49 minutes later, the engines stopped, right on time. Of course, I had all the confidence in the engine firing, we seem to do that very well here!

We've started to get some data back from the probe. I haven't heard any rumors about it yet. They have to look at it and get ready for the press conference on the 19th. I can't wait to find out what interesting things they have found! It's so great to finally be in orbit around Jupiter getting real Jupiter data!



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