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Pioneer 0/Able 1
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Pioneer 00/Able 1
Pioneer 0/Able 1 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Able 1 was to orbit the Moon for about 2 weeks at an altitude of 29,000 km (18,000 miles). It carried an infrared television system to study the Moon's surface, a microphone to detect any micrometeorites striking the spacecraft, a magnetometer and temperature sensors to record the spacecraft's internal conditions.

Accomplishments: None. The mission failed when the launch vehicle exploded 77 seconds after launch at an altitude of 15.2 km (9.4 miles) above Earth's surface. It splashed into the Atlantic ocean about 2 minutes later. The mission has come to be known as Pioneer 0.


Key Dates
17 Aug 1958:  Launch (12:18 UTC)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Pioneer 00/Able 1 Facts Pioneer 0 was the world's first attempt to launch a probe out of Earth's orbit.

There were 18 spacecraft in the Pioneer Series.

The Pioneer missions to the Moon were only a small part of the program. Most spacecraft bearing the Pioneer name explored the solar system.

Engineers painted dark and light stripes on the spacecraft to help control its temperature.

This was first attempted deep space launch by any country. It was launched by the U.S. Air Force.

Engineers painted a pattern of dark and light stripes on the spacecrafts outer surface to regulate internal temperature.

The mission has been retroactively known as Pioneer 0.
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Last Updated: 30 Nov 2010