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Pioneer 10
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Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10 Mission to Jupiter Pioneer 10 Mission to Beyond Our Solar System

Goals: Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft intended to fly by Jupiter, surviving the intense radiation that surrounds the giant planet and then on a trajectory that would take it out of the Solar System.

Accomplishments: Pioneer 10 is one of four NASA spacecraft on a trajectory that will carry them into Interstellar space. The other spacecraft are Voyagers 1 and 2 and Pioneer 11. All four spacecraft carry plaques intended to communicate something about its home planet should the spacecraft ever meet up with another intelligent species.


Key Dates
2 Mar 1972:  Launch
13 Jun 1983:  Passed Orbit of Most Distant Planet
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Pioneer 10 Facts Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to fly through the asteroid belt, first to fly close to Jupiter and first to cross Neptune's orbit on a course to leave our solar system.

In 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to travel past the orbit of the most distant planet, Neptune. Until its distance from Earth was exceeded on February 17, 1998 by Voyager 1, Pioneer 10 was the most distant human-made object.

It will take more than 2 million years for Pioneer 10 to pass Aldebaran, the nearest star on its trajectory.

It carries a plaque with information about Earth and humans.
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Charles Hall Charles Hall
"Charlie Hall's Pioneer 10 craft may be billions of miles from Earth, but his spirit will always be with us at NASA." Read More...
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Last Updated: 22 Jan 2013