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Why weren't there any camera's on the galileo probe?


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By the galileo probe, I mean the atmospheric probe.

It would've been great to see some pictures of Jupiter inside its cloud layer, why didn't they put a camera on it?

Was the heat to intense to get a proper image or something?

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Camera = mass and cost, the two additional things you don't want on a space mission. Plus, on a probe with such a limited lifetime, you want to maximize the amount of bandwidth going for the primary scientific data as opposed to things like pictures.

Nowadays though, cameras are a lot lighter and cheaper than they were when Galileo was designed. Might a gas giant entry probe have a camera now? We'll see, whenever one is made again...

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Camera = mass and cost, the two additional things you don't want on a space mission. Plus, on a probe with such a limited lifetime, you want to maximize the amount of bandwidth going for the primary scientific data as opposed to things like pictures.

Nowadays though, cameras are a lot lighter and cheaper than they were when Galileo was designed. Might a gas giant entry probe have a camera now? We'll see, whenever one is made again...

That makes sense, they're designing a Saturn atmospheric mission, they'll probably give it a camera or two.

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That makes sense, they're designing a Saturn atmospheric mission, they'll probably give it a camera or two.

If it flies. But, given the alternative missions competing for the same slot (Venus lander/balloon, lunar sample return, trojan asteroid orbiter, or a comet sample return mission), I would personally rather have one of the alternatives. The Saturn probe would do better to be bundled with a larger mission, either heading to Saturn in the first place or perhaps just flying by for a gravity assist...

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If it flies. But, given the alternative missions competing for the same slot (Venus lander/balloon, lunar sample return, trojan asteroid orbiter, or a comet sample return mission), I would personally rather have one of the alternatives. The Saturn probe would do better to be bundled with a larger mission, either heading to Saturn in the first place or perhaps just flying by for a gravity assist...

Note the part about extra missions being added to the list for NH5; that's a breach of normal procedure, and only occurred because NASA wasn't sure any of the NH4 mission proposals would be doable within the cost cap; so added more missions to avoid throwing away the mission and budget.

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I believe Juno has a camera.

Juno is slated to dive into the atmosphere of Jupiter in 2017, so until then, be patient and stay strong, friend.

For disposal. A process which will take on the order of a few minutes, during most of which the spacecraft will be on fire and converted to plasma :P

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I believe Juno has a camera.

Juno is slated to dive into the atmosphere of Jupiter in 2017, so until then, be patient and stay strong, friend.

I want to see what Jupiter would look like on a surface level along with Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

The idea of a Gas/Ice giants fascinates me.

It's to bad Juno won't get low enough to take those kinds of pictures.

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I want to see what Jupiter would look like on a surface level along with Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

The idea of a Gas/Ice giants fascinates me.

It's to bad Juno won't get low enough to take those kinds of pictures.

Bah, it would be too dark and crushingly thick. The cameras wouldn't stand the pressure.

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A camera would be useless. You wouldn't see anything. It would be like flying through thick orange fog.

Depends on what cloud layer you're in! There are large clear spots, depending where you come down you might have several minutes of clear skies before entering the clouds.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...

Camera = mass and cost, the two additional things you don't want on a space mission. Plus, on a probe with such a limited lifetime, you want to maximize the amount of bandwidth going for the primary scientific data as opposed to things like pictures.

Nowadays though, cameras are a lot lighter and cheaper than they were when Galileo was designed. Might a gas giant entry probe have a camera now? We'll see, whenever one is made again...

 

First of all check your history about the previous space mission to the other planets. The Russia probe landed on Venus, and took a snap shot I believe during the late 1960's  with a camera. Voyage one and two got massive shots of the solar system from 1977  on up till it left the kieper belt into deep space. Missions to mars took picture  too. The moon had a probe  take a close up before crashing into it. All of this in on the internet just look it up. They had a camera on board Galileo but due to the atmospheric conditions the signal was blocked by the ionization of the atmosphere.  Radio communication has the same problem on earth at times.  I was a radioman in the U.S. Navy and I had to know that about communications.

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It's hard to transmit big pictures quickly through space. Usually there is plenty of time to transmit because the spacecraft is coasting through space, but when it's about to burn up there isn't usually enough time before it burns up.

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It's mostly a bandwidth issue. They have to uplink the images to the main spacecraft (in this case), store them, then beam them to DSN. In the case of Cassini or Juno, it's an issue of the most data with the least bandwidth, since the craft is working hard to point home, and images are really big files. With Juno, the camera was in fact an afterthought, anyway.

The other issue is that as @Nibb31 said, you'd not see much. It's not an issue of what clouds can look like up close (we've all seen cool looking clouds pretty close, I assume), but the velocity of the spacecraft. How well would you image a cloud a km away if you were moving multiple km/s?

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17 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

If you have the space to put a camera on an interplanetary probe, you have the space to put something actually useful.

Pics don't tell you how planets work, and artist impressions are more beautiful anyway.

On the other hand, if you want future missions to be financed, you need public engagement. Pictures are a lot better at creating that than, say, magnetosphere readings. Or pretty artist impressions.

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I guess the reason back then was power, weight, and technology. Falling into an unknown, rad-intensive, 4 AU away (at best) foreign world can be hard to predict. Huygens, for example, had a very long descent, quite differing from the prediction. The battery had problems - they could only take that one pano in the end I think. And that's mid-90s rad-hard space tech. Galileo was a decade behind. Even being able to send the thing there and getting transmission and data (and science !) back was enough.

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