"The Largest Planet" This is a research essay about Jupiter. It includes unmanned missions to Jupiter and the general characteristics of the planet. It has 6 references.

Essay by stinger85University, Bachelor'sA-, July 2002

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Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It is twice as large as all the other planets combined. It has 28 known satellites. The earliest discovered moons date back to 1610 and were discovered by Galileo. This is of interest because a future mission to Jupiter is named after this astronomer. Most of the remaining moons were discovered in the 20th century with advancement of technology. Some are discovered using better telescopes and others with missions directed towards Jupiter. Some of the more recently discovered moons are yet to be named. All that we know of Jupiter couldn't possibly have come form just observation. Some have come by spacecraft passing by Jupiter on their way to other missions and some of the most comprehensive by missions specifically for Jupiter. (1) (2)

Information and images of Jupiter have been from mostly fly-bys over the years. The fly-bys include; Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and Ulysses.

Most of these missions were launched to investigate the outer solar system and served double duty by flying by Jupiter to gather information to send back to Earth.. The more recent Galileo mission was launched from the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1989 to travel to Jupiter and study the planet for a period of two years and has yielded a lot more specific information about the planet. Let's look at each of the individual missions. (2)

Pioneer 10 was the first mission to the outer solar system. It was launched in March of 1972. It took approximately 21 months for Pioneer 10 to reach Jupiter.

It was the first to investigate Jupiter and then it continued out of our solar system to continue its journey to the red star Aldebaran: A journey that will take about two million years. Pioneer 10...