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Pioneer 3
Pioneer 3 (click to enlarge)

Pioneer 3
Date: 1 Dec 1958

Looking more like surgeons, these technicians wearing cleanroom attire inspect the Pioneer III probe before shipping it to Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Pioneer III was launched on 6 December 1958 aboard a Juno II rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission objectives were to measure the radiation intensity of the Van Allen radiation belt, test long range communication systems, the launch vehicle and other subsystems.

Juno II failed to reach proper orbital escape velocity. The probe re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 7 December 1958 ending its brief mission.

Credit: NASA/JPL

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Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013