On Dec. 8, 1990, NASAs Galileo spacecraft flew by Earth on its method to Jupiter. Called after the well known astronomer Galileo Galilei the Galileo probe was the very first spacecraft to study Jupiter and its moons for a prolonged time period, and it in fact flew by Earth twice on the method there to choose up speed. This color picture of the Earth was taken by the European Space Agencys Galileo spacecraft on Dec. 11, 1990, as it left on its three year flight to Jupiter. Antarctica is visible at the bottom of the image, and dawn is increasing over the Pacific Ocean. (Image credit: NASA/JPL) The 2nd flyby happened two years later also on a Dec. 8 (however in 1992). Five years after its launch, on Dec. 7, 1995, Galileo reached Jupiter. It orbited Jupiter for 8 years before NASA sent it on a crash-course into the worlds atmosphere. NASA intentionally destroyed Galileo by crashing it into Jupiter on Sept. 21, 2003, that method so that it wouldnt run the threat of polluted any of Jupiters moons with bacteria from Earth.Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist. On This Day in Space Archive! Still not adequate area? Dont forget to have a look at our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week. Email Hanneke Weitering at [email protected] or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook..