On This Day in Space Archive!
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On Aug. 28, 1993, NASAs Galileo spacecraft flew by the asteroid Ida on its way to Jupiter..
Related: The biggest asteroid encounters of all time!
Galileo was the first spacecraft to fly by an asteroid in the asteroid belt. Ida was in fact the 2nd area rock it visited after another flyby of the asteroid Gaspra in 1991..
Galileo zoomed by Ida going nearly 28,000 miles per hour and came within 1,500 miles of the asteroids surface area. During the encounter, Galileo likewise found a tiny moon orbiting Ida! This was the very first validated satellite of an asteroid. The International Astronomical Union called the moon Dactyl, after a group of mythological beings who resided on a spiritual mountain called Mount Ida.
In the mid-1990s, the Galileo spacecraft, on its method to the Jupiter system, captured this mind-blowing image of asteroid 243 Ida and its moon, Dactyl. (Image credit: NASA/JPL) Catch up on our whole “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.