Mission "Pioneer 10"

13 June 2019, 14:11
A source: © jnsm.com.ua
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In 1960, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proposed the “Great Planetary Tour” program to send unmanned space probes to distant planets in the solar system.

The program was approved in 1969. For its implementation in 1970, two identical units, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, were created at a cost of $ 190 million each.

"Pioneer 10", an apparatus weighing 260 kg, with a diameter of 2.75 m and a height of 2.9 m, was launched on March 2, 1972 from the launch site on Cape Canaveral (Florida) in the direction of Jupiter. He became the first spacecraft to accelerate to the third space velocity.

In December 1973, after the successful passage of the asteroid belt and a distance of about a billion kilometers, he approached Jupiter. He transmitted to Earth the first, taken at close range, photographs of the largest planet in the solar system. Conducted a measurement of its magnetic field and mass, continued its movement in the direction of the constellation Taurus.
Photo © jnsm.com.ua

An anodized gold plate made of aluminum alloy measuring 220x152 millimeters, designed by astronomer Kal Sagan, was installed on the body of the device. It depicted a man and a woman with the Pioneer spacecraft on the same scale, a hydrogen molecule, the Sun, the rays of which conventionally indicate the distance to the 14th nearby pulsaps of our Galaxy, the Solar System with the Pioneer trajectory.

This message was intended for extraterrestrial civilizations, it was supposed to calculate the coordinates of the Sun and the Earth and get an idea of ​​the level of our civilization.

In 1976, Pioneer 10 reached Saturn, three years later - Uranus, and on June 13, 1983, it crossed the orbit of Pluto and became the first human-made object to leave the solar system.

March 31, 1997, when the probe traveled about 100,000,000,000 kilometers, NASA officially completed the Pioneer 10 program, despite the fact that the device still transmitted data to Earth.

"Pioneer 11" was launched April 6, 1973 for the study of Jupiter and Saturn. In September 1995, the connection with him was lost. The last two probes of the Pioneer program started in 1978 in the direction of Venus.
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