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Solar System Exploration
Pioneer 7
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Pioneer 7
Pioneer 7 Mission to Comets Pioneer 7 Mission to Our Solar System

Goals: Pioneer 7 was the second in a series of solar orbiters designed to measure, from widely separated points in space on a continuing basis, interplanetary phenomena such as the Sun's magnetic field, the solar wind, and solar and galactic cosmic rays.

Accomplishments: Pioneers 6, 7, 8, and 9 formed a ring of solar-weather stations, spaced approximately along Earth's orbit, whose measurements were used to predict solar storms. Pioneer 7 recorded Earth's magnetic tail more than 19 million km from the planet, 3 times further than previously recorded. During the visit by Halley's comet to the inner solar ssytem in 1986, the spacecraft observed the interaction between the comet's hydrogen tail and the solar wind.


Key Dates
17 Aug 1966:  Launch
20 Mar 1986:  Comet Halley Observations
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Pioneer 7 Facts Pioneer 7 helped provide data used to predict solar storms.

It measured Earth's magnetic tail three times farther than previously recorded.

The spacecraft observed the interaction of the solar wind and comet Halley's magnetic tail. (Image: Comet Halley as see by the Giotto spacecraft)
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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: 15 Aug 2013