'Jupiter Odyssey' is a very complete summary of the Galileo Mission to Jupiter, covering the time from the mission's inception to just prior to the Cassini Jupiter encounter in December 2000. The book can be summarised in three sections - an Introduction, the Interplanetary Cruise, and the Orbital Tour. The introductory section starts with a brief overview of previous missions to the planet (the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft) and then describes the Galileo spacecraft itself in some detail. The Interplanetary Cruise section covers Galileo's epic six-year journey through the Solar System on its way to Jupiter, and takes us on a detailed guided tour of the Venus, Earth, Gaspra and Ida asteroid encounters. The Jupiter atmosphere probe and Galileo's coverage of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 cometary impact are also described. All the ups and downs of this stage of the mission are described, from the surprising discovery of a moon around Ida to the near-disastrous loss of the High Gain Antenna and subsequent data recovery efforts. The remaining two-thirds of the book covers Galileo's Orbital Tour of the Jovian system with each target body being described in separate chapters. The discoveries made by Galileo are well reported and supported by an excellent selection of images. The book ends with a look forward to the Cassini Jupiter encounter (still to come when it was published) and the final stages of the Extended Galileo Mission. A very complete appendix of Jovian System data, nomenclature of the features on the Galilean satellites, a glossary, a bibliography and an index round off the book. I would say that David Harland has provided us with nothing less than the ultimate guide to the Galileo mission. 'Jupiter Odyssey' is very well written and is a joy to read. All the thrills and frustrations of a planetary mission are portrayed here, with many comments from scientists involved in the instrument design and data analysis adding colour to the descriptions. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the Galileo mission, Jupiter and its satellites, or planetary science in general!
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This is a comprehensive and thorough review of the Galileo mission to Jupiter by one of the best space historians in the business. Every fact, every pixel, every bit of data from this amazing mission is there. Brilliant.