Exploring the Solar System

Exploring the Outer Planets

What experiment did the Galileo conduct in its 1992 flyby?

During the December 1992 flyby of Earth, Galileo conducted another experiment to see if visible-light lasers could be used to communicate with spacecraft. The Galileo Optical Experiment (GOPEX) was successful; scientists on Earth fired a series of bright laser pulses from ground stations in California and New Mexico, and Galileo took digital pictures of the pulses, successfully detecting about one-third of them up to a distance of nearly four million miles.


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