For Immediate Release


Markham, Ontario, Canada (December 15, 1995) -- After a six year voyage the Jupiter bound space probe, Galileo, arrived at its destination this month. A key component of the Galileo program is Empress Software's relational database management system (RDBMS). California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), builders of the Galileo spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), chose the Empress RDBMS for the Planetary Observation Instrument Targeting Encounter Reconnaissance (POINTER) subsystem of the Mission Sequence System (MSS). This is not the first time the Empress RDBMS has journeyed into space. It was also used on the Voyager II spacecraft.

The POINTER subsystem has a fundamental role in the collection of the remote sensing science data. It provides the geometry conditions of the spacecraft and the celestial bodies in the solar system for the instrument science representatives to design remote sensing observations. On the Galileo project, Empress stores remote sensing observation command information and provides an interface for updating commands. An "editor"; module employs Empress' 4GL user interface to provide editing functions for changing the contents of the more than 30 database tables.

Empress' ability to store and process bulk data in a usable format make it particularly suited to the Galileo application. Also, since much of Galileo's command information is collected and transmitted at the byte level, Empress' direct kernel interface provides an ideal method of handling instrument positioning tasks.

The space probe was originally launched in November 1989 and has traveled almost 2.4 billion miles (3.8 billion-Km) on its journey. The probe was carried into space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. However, the initial rocket boost did not provide enough velocity to make it directly to Jupiter. Instead, Galileo headed for Venus. Venus' gravity was used to provide a boost in acceleration. But even this was not enough. Galileo then headed back towards Earth for another gravity assisted boost in acceleration. In fact, Galileo would swing by Earth twice before attaining the necessary velocity to head for Jupiter.

As the Galileo spacecraft neared Jupiter, an atmospheric probe was released. The probe will gather data on such things as gases, lightening, cloud structure, temperature and pressure. As the probe descends the increasing temperature and pressure of Jupiter's atmosphere will eventually vaporize the probe.

After storing the probe's transmitted data in its tape recorders, Galileo will begin its first of 11 orbits through the Jovian system. Over the next 23 months, Galileo will photograph and analyze not only Jupiter but also 4 of its many moons - Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, and Io.

Empress Software manufactures and distributes the Empress RDBMS, including 4GL development tools, GUI development tools, ODBC server, and other related products through a distributor network in more than 30 countries around the world. The Empress multimedia RDBMS is available for all leading UNIX platforms.

Empress Software is a privately held company headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada with offices worldwide. More information about Empress Software, Inc. and its complete line of multimedia RDBMS products can be found at