National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Pioneer P-30
Missions to the Moon
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
 
 Past 
 Present 
 Future 
 Concepts 
Pioneer P-30
Pioneer P-30 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Pioneer P-30, also known as Able VA, was designed to study the Moon from orbit with suited of nine science instruments.

Accomplishments: A malfunction in the booster rocket caused the probe to burn up in Earth's atmosphere 17 minutes after launch. Ground controllers were able to make the first successful firing of a onboard rocket on a spacecraft during the short mission.


Key Dates
25 Sep 1960:  Launch (15:13 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Pioneer P-30 Facts Debris from the spacecraft were later recovered in Transvaal, South Africa (map).

The probe used a three-stage rocket. The malfunction occurred in the second stage.

This unsuccessful mission still logged a first when controllers successfully fired the probe's onboard engine, something that had never been done on a spacecraft.
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: 1 Dec 2010