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By George Capaccio

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Sometimes they pull on the same side of Io. At other times, they pull on different sides, depending on their orbits. The combined force of their gravity causes Io’s solid ground to swell and sink, just like oceans on Earth. Tidal bulges on Io can reach a height of about 98 feet (30 m). That is several times higher than the highest ocean tides on Earth. This constant kneading produces heat inside of Io. The moon’s interior gets so hot that solid rock turns into molten lava. The lava then tries to escape through the moon’s crust.

The launch date was set for Thursday, March 2, 1972. FIRST MISSIONS TO JUPITER: PIONEER 10 AND 11 In February both spacecraft were moved to the launch site at Cape Canaveral in Florida. Each one carried a gold-plated copper disk that contained images and sounds that would introduce our civilization to any extraterrestrial beings the spacecraft might come across. The images showed the location of Earth and included a pair of humans, male and female. On March 2, Pioneer 10 launched into space. On December 3, 1973, Pioneer 10 came within 50,000 miles (81,000 km) of Jupiter’s cloud tops.

The dark lines are actually cracks between areas of ice. Instruments aboard Voyager 2 also picked up signs of a saltwater ocean beneath the ice. This discovery led scientists to think that some forms of life might exist in Europa’s ocean. Ganymede and Callisto As part of their mission, the Voyager spacecrafts surveyed Jupiter’s two other moons—Ganymede and Callisto. Their instruments showed that Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. It would be a planet if it were on its own and not held in orbit by Jupiter’s gravity.

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