deglr6328 writes "On the 21st of this month the Galileo Space Probe, which has been orbiting Jupiter for nearly eight years, will plummet fatefully into the crushing pressures and searing heat of that planet's interior. The spacecraft's 14 year journey has brought the discovery of, among other things, the first moon orbiting an asteroid, the first remote detection of life on earth when Carl Sagan used data from an onboard infrared spectrometer to observe the spectral signature of Oxygen in our atmosphere, it has caught snowflakes of Sulfur Dioxide as it flew through the plume of an erupting volcano on Io, snapped pictures of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 as it smashed into Jupiter's atmosphere and most importantly, provided proof a >60 Km deep ocean on Europa with hints of oceans on Callisto and Ganymede(listen to Ganymede's eerie sounding plasma wind). And all this with scarcely more computing power than a late '70s video game and a maximum data transfer rate of ~120 bits/s over a distance of more than 600 million Km. In a mission spanning three decades, the Galileo space probe has answered many of humanity's questions about space and presented us with the knowledge to ask many more which will be answered by the next generation of Jovian explorer. Goodnight Galileo."
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they
really hate is lousy programmers.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in "Oath of Fealty"