We are at the dawn of a new era in the study of space, all thanks to the Galileo space probe. Mission Jupiter brings us the exciting story of the Galileo mission to investigate Jupiter. The noted astronomer Daniel Fischer, co-author of Hubble: A New Window to the Universe and Hubble Revisited: New Images from the Discovery Machine, weaves together the many disparate facts learned about Jupiter and its satellites into a coherent description of this most fascinating planet, after stepping back to review the history of planetary exploration. Mission Jupiter tells the entire story of Galileo: a behind-the-scenes look at its difficult course from idea to reality; its launch; the problems it encountered early on and how these were resolved; and finally, what will become of the probe. Along the way, the author describes what wee learned about Jupiter, including what the Jovian atmosphere is really like, and the peculiar reality of the planet's magnetic field. The story of the journey to Jupiter is combined with interesting details about Galileo's capacities and a graphic description of the solar system, with an entertaining episode on how Galileo would judge the chances of finding life on Earth. The book concludes with a look to the future, closing on the Cassini probe to Saturn, launched just last year. Beautifully illustrated and well written, Mission Jupiter shows us space exploration at its best and conveys the essential science clearly and vividly. '
From the reviews:
Fischer's readable account is one of the few book-length treatments available. . . . Fischer . . .writes for a popular audience, handily guiding the reader through the first Pioneer and Voyager probes of the 1970s, the five-year exploration of the Jovian system and the Jupiter flyby of the Cassini space probe, headed to Saturn for exploration beginning in 2004. Throughout he provides handy summary boxes of findings and scores of illustrations -- including more than 40 breathtaking full-color images of Jupiter, the volcanic landscape of the moon Io and, of course, the spectacular ice crusts of Europa. . . . This book will serve as a much-needed addition to the popular literature." Publishers Weekly -- 5/28/01
"Originally published in German in 1998, Fischer's book tells the story of the Galileo space probe, which reached Jupiter in late 1995. ... Astronomer Fischer, who edits a German astronomy journal and has written about the Hubble telescope, recounts the mission's history well ... . The text contains new material that updates the original publication. ... This book would be appropriate for large libraries ... ." (Jeffrey Beall, Library Journal, May, 2001)
"Galileo faced near-fatal funding challenges during its infancy, suffered endless launch delays and accompanying cost overruns, and ... was threatened by a potentially crippling failure of its umbrella-like high-gain antenna ... . To Fischer's credit ... his book uses sidebars intelligently to explain ancillary topics, has a proportionally large amount of the total text dedicated to the preorbital history of Galileo and its robotic predecessors, and offers a decent selection of reasonably well produced black-and-white figures in addition to a section of color plates." (Jeff Moore, Sky & Telescope, October, 2002)
"Galileo revealed the possible existence of an ocean under the surface ice of Europa and that it could well be salty, and this is covered in some depth. ... There are many excellent illustrations in colour and in black and white, especially the patterns on the ice of Europa. Overall a very well written book that holds the interest of the novice and expert alike and gives a well-rounded picture of what is involved in highly successful interplanetary probes. Highly recommended." (Emlyn Jones, Astronomy & Space, October, 2002)
"Galileo has been one of NASA's most important planetary missions to date. ... Its fascinating story is told in Mission Jupiter by Daniel Fischer ... . A useful summary mission timeline is included, as well as a list of applicable books and web addresses relating both to Galileo and Jupiter. Another useful feature is the summary tables of key mission objectives and results. ... the book presents a good popular account of what has been one of NASA's most fascinating missions." (Mike Foulkes, The Observatory, Vol. 122 (1167), 2002)
"GALILEO - the spacecraft, not the man - has shown us space exploration in all its phases, from the frustrating to the rewarding. ... In Mission Jupiter Daniel Fischer tells a good tale, skilfully explaining the discoveries about Jupiter and its moons and their relations to the other bodies out there. Even the intricacies of the spectacular colour images are described in careful detail. An excellent and accessible overview of the workings of one of the best scientific endeavours of the space age." (David Hughes, New Scientist, June, 2001)