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Official NASA Communication 95-182

Official NASA Communication 95-182

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 06, 2007
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Douglas IsbellHeadquarters, Washington, DC October 12, 1995(Phone: 202/358-1753)Franklin O'DonnellJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA(Phone: 818/354-5011)RELEASE: 95-182GALILEO SPACECRAFT ANOMALY BEING INVESTIGATEDEngineering data returned from NASA's Jupiter-boundGalileo spacecraft last night indicates a problem with thespacecraft's tape recorder, project officials report.Project officials say a week or more may be requiredfor the problem to be isolated or well-understood, but thatthe spacecraft remains otherwise healthy and in contact withcontrollers on Earth.The problem was detected shortly after Galileo tookan image of Jupiter and its major moons from 22 million milesaway. After taking the three images required for a colorphotograph to be produced, the tape recorder used to storethe data was commanded to rewind. Data received from Galileosuggest the tape recorder did not stop as expected afterrewinding."Galileo engineers have commanded the tape recorderto a standby mode while they investigate further," saidGalileo Project Manager William J. O'Neil of NASA's JetPropulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. Project engineersare proceeding slowly and cautiously to understand theproblem, according to O'Neil, and are avoiding sendingunnecessary commands to the spacecraft. In addition toanalyzing spacecraft telemetry, engineers are working with anidentical tape recorder in a laboratory spacecraft mockup onthe ground."The next scheduled spacecraft operation that we needto perform is a routine thruster flushing in about twoweeks," said O'Neil. "We want to take the time in theinterim to understand this problem in detail."

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