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Analysis of Galileo’s Jupiter Entry Probe Reveals Gaps in Heat Shield Modeling

20 Oct 2019, 10:46 UTC
Analysis of Galileo’s Jupiter Entry Probe Reveals Gaps in Heat Shield Modeling
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The entry probe of the Galileo mission to Jupiter entered the planet's atmosphere in 1995 in fiery fashion. As the probe descended from Mach 50 to Mach 1 and generated enough heat to cause plasma reactions on its surface, it relayed data about the burning of its heat shield that differed from the effects predicted in fluid dynamics models. New work examines what might have caused such a discrepancy.Researchers at the Universidade de Lisboa and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report their findings from new fluid radiative dynamics models using data transmitted from the of Galileo's 30-second entry. The paper, published in Physics of Fluids, from AIP Publishing, employs new computational techniques developed in the nearly 25 years since the mission."Early simulations for the probe design were conducted in the 1980s," said Mario Lino da Silva, an author on the paper. "There are some things we can do in 2019, because we have the computational power, new devices, new theories and new data."Galileo's probe entered Jupiter's gravity traveling 47.4 kilometers per second, making it one of the fastest man-made objects ever. The fireball caused by the descent warmed the carbon phenolic heat shield to temperatures hotter than the sun's ...

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