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Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS)

NSSDCA ID: 1989-084E-03

Mission Name: Galileo Probe
Principal Investigator:Dr. Hasso B. Niemann


The objective of this investigation is to determine the chemical and isotopic composition and physical state of the Jovian atmosphere, including vertical variations from 0.1 to 10 bars or greater. Mixing ratios are determined for He to 1% accuracy and for H2O, CH4, and NH3 to 5% accuracy. The isotopic ratio of Ne20 to Ne22 is measured to an accuracy of 2%. All species with mass numbers 1 to 52, plus selected species at higher mass numbers (including krypton and xenon) are measured. The instrument is a quadrupole mass spectrometer with an electron impact ion source having redundant electron beam guns of variable kinetic energy and a secondary electron multiplier ion detector. The dual-channel sample inlet system includes an enrichment system for trace-gas and isotope determination, a tandem getter, and a sputter ion pump. The mass range is 1 - 52, 84, and 131 u. The dynamic range is 1.E+8. Other species with masses greater than 52 u can be sought at the sacrifice of integration time below 52 u. The scan period is 3 to 60 s. The instrument is mounted on the Probe with the sample inlet port near the stagnation point and the sample outlet port near the minimum pressure point. The total mass is 7.1 kg and the total power is 15 W.

Alternate Names

  • GalileoProbe/NMS
  • NMS
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:gp.gpms

Facts in Brief

Mass: 13.2 kg
Power (avg): 13 W
Bit rate (avg): 0.032 kbps


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. George R. CarignanCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Nelson W. SpencerCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Prof. Thomas M. DonahueCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Tobias C. OwenCo-InvestigatorState University of New York
Prof. Donald M. HuntenCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Richard E. HartleCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Prof. Sushil K. AtreyaCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Hasso B. NiemannGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Hasso B. NiemannPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Selected References

  • Niemann, H. B., et al., Galileo probe mass spectrometer experiment, Space Sci. Rev., 60, No. 1/4, 111-142, doi:10.1007/BF00216852, May 1992.
  • Niemann, H. B., et al., The Galileo probe mass spectrometer: Composition of Jupiter's atmosphere, Science, 272, No. 5263, 846-849, doi:10.1126/science.272.5263.846, May 1996.
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