Space History Photo: Galileo Preparations

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The spacecraft Galileo is prepared for its October 1989 six-year trip to Jupiter. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the spacecraft Galileo is in the Vertical Processing Facility (VPF), prepared for mating with the Inertial Upper Stage booster. Galileo will be launched aboard the Orbiter Atlantis on Space Shuttle mission STS-34, October 12, 1989 and sent to the planet Jupiter, a journey which will take more than six years to complete.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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U.S. Space Agency

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: