National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Pioneer P-31
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
Pioneer P-31
Pioneer P-31 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Pioneer P-31, or Able VB, was another attempt to place a heavily-instrumented spacecraft into lunar orbit. The spacecraft was equipped to study radiation and magnetic fields at the Moon and measure the number of micrometeoroids.

Accomplishments: None. The spacecraft's booster rocket exploded 68 seconds after launch, scattering debris into the Atlantic Ocean.

Key Dates
15 Dec 1960:  Launch (09:10 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Pioneer P-31 Facts In 1960, Russian dogs Belka and Strelka (right) became the first animals to return alive from space during the Sputnik 5 mission.

Pioneer P-31 was the final launch of 1960.

Of the seven interplanetary spacecraft launched in 1960, only Pioneer 5 was successful.
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 Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
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
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010