NASA/JPL Galileo Mission Pin Collection

Current bid: $79.00

Galileo (Jupiter) Mission pin collection.

See below for full details, and shipping is extra.

Current Bid Increment: $6

Item condition: New

Time left:

Auction ends: June 21, 2018 6:00 pm
Timezone: America/Denver

Current bid: $79.00



This is my personal collection of Galileo mission lapel pins from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While maybe I could make more by selling them individually, I prefer to keep them together as a set. As shown, all but one are still in their original plastic wrapping, typically showing where they were made — China or Taiwan. I believe I purchased all of them at the JPL employee store over a period of several years.

Galileo was built at JPL, and was launched during my tenure there (from the space shuttle Atlantis, on 18 October 1989). It arrived at Jupiter on 7 December 1995 after gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth, and became the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter. It launched the first probe into Jupiter, directly measuring its atmosphere, and achieved the first asteroid flyby, of 951 Gaspra, and then another, 243 Ida. In 1994, Galileo observed Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9’s collision with Jupiter.

The mission had quite a number of commemorative pins issued. I’m not sure how many, but I have 9 of them, so it was at least 9! And here’s what they depict (each photo can be clicked to see larger):

Pin 1 (right) & 2 (next) are the main mission pin, in color (#1) and in gold relief over a black background (#2). Each shows the spacecraft at left, the probe parachuting into Jupiter’s atmosphere at right, and Jupiter in the background.

Pin #2 (left) is one of my favorite of all NASA mission pins: I actually bought several at the employee store, and still have one that I wear. It’s exceptionally beautiful in its simplicity.

Pin 3 (right) commemorates Galileo’s launch from the space shuttle Atlantis.

Pin 4 (left), with an interesting circle over triangle design, commemorates the probe launched by Galileo into Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Pin 5 (right) commemorates Galileo’s flyby of the asteroid Gaspra in 1991.

Pin 6 (left) is a tiny depiction of the orbits Galileo made in the Jupiter system during its 2-year mission (1996-1997; see below for more), in the same manner as pin 2, so it’s extra cool.

Pin 7 (right) is a 10-year mission anniversary logo (1989-1999).

Pin 8 (left) commemorates Galileo’s flyby of the asteroid Ida, notable because Galileo discovered the first known asteroid moon, Dactyl, orbiting Ida.

And Pin 9 (right) commemorates yet another first: the first time we have ever seen a comet (Shoemaker-Levy 9) smash into a planet (see pics below)! Galileo happened to be on the way to Jupiter, so we woke it up and had it take pictures from where it was: 230 million km away.

Now is that a nice set, or what?! And it could be yours at a price you choose. See below for full bidding info.

The Winner Will Also Get a signed letter from me explaining where I got the pins, and what the depict (as above).

Comet Impact on Jupiter

Here are the photos Galileo took of the comet hitting Jupiter. The bright dot isn’t actually the comet: it’s the bright explosion caused by the comet hitting Jupiter’s atmosphere on the “night” side of the planet! Amazing that the explosion was bright enough to see so clearly from 230 million km away!

Next, if you’re wondering how the orbital mechanics work from pin 6, here’s a diagram that shows how Galileo orbited around Jupiter and its moons during its 2-year mission (click to see larger):

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Auction History

Date Bid User Auto
June 12, 2018 5:14 pm$79.00Panama_Graciela
June 8, 2018 6:00 pmAuction started