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Galileo

 

SCIKits 1/45

Around 11" long

 

A paper kit (bought online) of the Galileo spacecraft that reached Jupiter in December 1995, after a six year low-energy Gravity Assist flight. As well as returning much useful but dull cosmological data, more importantly it also survived the failure to unfurl the umbrella-shaped high-gain antenna (after some inspired remote re-programming to allow use of the low-gain backup system) and returned many beautiful images.

 

The little gold cone at the base of the spacecraft body represents the remote sensing probe that was dropped into Jupiter's atmosphere, finally proving what had previously only been suspected: that the bottom of a gas giant's gravity well is a fairly horrible place.

 

This was an extremely fiddly kit to make, as are all of SCIKit's more elaborate designs, but the final result is certainly worth the effort. The card is laser cut, so the intricate supporting trusses are reproduced quite well, and the design of the three-dimensional structures is usually very well thought-out.

My kit shared a common problem with SCIKit's products, though -  the printed colours are often badly out of registration with the laser cutting, so many areas that should have been yellow were grey or un-printed white... Nothing that a touch-up with some pastel crayons couldn't fix, but it's a weak point in an otherwise excellent range of model kits.

 

 

Other resources:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Galileo Mission site.

Assembly instructions for this kit

Copper version of this kit!

 

 

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