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Galileo came close to the asteroid Ida. Galileo approached the asteroid 951 Gaspra. The descent module carried six scientific instruments. During its 57 minutes of active life, the probe performed all the measurements and experiments that had been planned by the scientists. The areas in red consist of dirty ice formed by water mixed with rocky material that slowly seeped into the ice and once there began to freeze. The “cracks” are caused by the breakup of the ice. IO is one of the moons of Jupiter.

66 VISITING OTHER WORLDS SPACE EXPLORATION 67 Mars in the Sights TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS T here was a time when it was thought that Mars, our closest neighbor, harbored life. Perhaps for this reason it is the planet that has been most explored by various spacecraft from the decade of the 1960s onward, and it is therefore the one we know the best, apart from the Earth. Mariner 9 in 1971 and Vikings 1 and 2 in 1976 revealed the existence of valleys and immense volcanic mountains. In 2001 the United States launched the Mars Odyssey mission, which indicated that liquid water exists at great depths.

Descent onto Titan The information sent by Huygens and relayed by Cassini took 67 minutes to travel from Saturn to the Earth. Although it could only see a small section of Titan, the apparatus was able to answer some key questions. For example, the probe did not find liquid, but it did find signs that the surface had a crust that was hard on top and soft underneath, which was flooded from time to time. Investigators said that Titan could have very infrequent precipitation, but when it occurred it could be abundant and cause flooding.

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