Pioneer 10 is an American interplanetary space probe. It was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on March 2nd 1972. It is the first space probe in history to travel further than Neptune, the most distant planet from the sun. Pioneer 10 has led the way in the exploration of deep space. The project is conducted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
When launched Pioneer 10 was carrying camera equipment and various scientific instruments. It also carried a plaque measuring 15.2cm x 22.8cm. The plaque has diagrams of our solar system and the sun’s position in space. It also depicts two nude figures of a man and woman.
Initially flying at a speed of 51,800kph, Pioneer 10 was the first to fly beyond the planet Mars and the first pass Jupiter. On June 13th 1983 Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune and became the first space craft to leave our solar system and enter deep space. For almost thirty years the spacecraft continued to send data back to earth. The last usable data was returned on April 27th 2002. As far as we know, Pioneer 10 still travels on in deep space.
Pioneer 10, an American interplanetary space probe, having travelled 12 billion km from earth into deep space, sent its last signal back to earth in the year 2003 On This Day.
Pioneer 10 spacecraft
Pioneer 10 Trajectory by NASA on The Commons on 1972-03-07 00:00:00