National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Pioneer 10
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search all Missions Between:      and      Search
1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2019 2020+
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...
Headlines
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 22 Jan 2013