Pioneer 10 – Space Probe Overview

Pioneer 10

Pioneer 10 was set in motion on March 2nd, 1972, and from July 15th, 1972 to February 15th, 1973 it was the first rocket to travel through the asteroid belt.

Composition

It was made housing a hydrazine propellant with radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). It has a parabolic dish for the high-gain antenna made from an aluminum honeycomb sandwich material.

Journey

After being launched in March 3rd, 1972 it first made encounter with Jupiter on November 6th, 1973 from where it transmitted a series of red and blue images of Jupiter. It passed Saturn in 1976 and Uranus in 1979 before crossing the Neptune. Its last transmission was received on January 23rd, 2003 from 12 billion kilometers that is around (80 AU) from Earth.

Future Probes

Space exploration is still of a major interest to scientist and hence there still missions which are yet to be launched like in:

  • 2017 – January – The ESA’s new solar orbiter known as SOLO is expected to be launched to the Sun.
  • 2017 – December – NASA’s first flight of Space Launch System rocket on an unmanned flight around the Moon.