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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Galileo Passes Europa

PASADENA, California-- The Galileo spacecraft made its closest pass of Jupiter's icy moon Europa on Thursday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

"I think this flyby may provide additional clues regarding the prospect of liquid water oceans on Europa," said Galileo mission director Bob Mitchell.

The unmanned craft passed Europa at an altitude of just 580 kilometers.

Galileo, which was launched aboard the shuttle Atlantis on Oct. 18, 1989, looked at other areas of Europa's surface, which is covered by ice and crisscrossed by dark lines. Scientists believe liquid oceans might be hidden under the icy surface of the moon.