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Mission Information

MISSION_NAME PIONEER 10
MISSION_NAME_OR_ALIAS PIONEER F
MISSION_START_DATE 1972-03-02
MISSION_STOP_DATE 1997-03-31
MISSION_DESCRIPTION
 
  Mission Overview
  ================
    The Pioneer mission set the stage for U.S. space exploration.
    Pioneer 1 was the first manmade object to escape the Earth's
    gravitational field. Later Pioneer 4 was the first spacecraft to fly
    to the moon, Pioneer 10 was the first to Jupiter, Pioneer 11 was the
    first to Saturn and Pioneer 12 was the first U.S. spacecraft to
    orbit another planet, Venus. The following table summarizes the
    Pioneer spacecraft and scientific objectives of the Pioneer mission.
 
    Name      Launch      Mission       Status (as of 1998)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Pioneer 1 1958-10-11    Moon        Reached altitude of 72765 miles
    Pioneer 2 1958-11-08    Moon        Reached altitude of 963 miles
    Pioneer 3 1958-12-02    Moon        Reached altitude of 63580 miles
    Pioneer 4 1959-03-03    Moon        Passed by moon into solar orbit
    Pioneer 5 1960-03-11  Solar Orbit   Entered solar orbit
    Pioneer 6 1965-12-16  Solar Orbit   Still operating
    Pioneer 7 1966-08-17  Solar Orbit   Still operating
    Pioneer 8 1967-12-13  Solar Orbit   Still operating
    Pioneer 9 1967-11-08  Solar Orbit   Signal lost in 1983
    Pioneer E 1969-08-07  Solar Orbit   Launch failure
    Pioneer10 1972-03-02   Jupiter      Communication terminated 1998
    Pioneer11 1973-04-05 Jupiter/Saturn Communication terminated 1997
    Pioneer12 1978-05-20    Venus       Entered Venus atmos. 1992-10-08
 
    Pioneer 10 was launched March 2, 1972. It flew by Jupiter, with
    perijove occuring December 3, 1973. Following the Jupiter Encounter
    the spacecraft continued onward on a path towards the heliopause,
    and out of the Solar System. The spacecraft continued returning
    scientific data until the end of its science mission March 31, 1997.
    Last contact was made January 23, 2003.
 
 
  Mission Phases
  ==============
 
    EARTH LAUNCH
    ------------
      Mission Phase Start Time       : 1972-03-02
      Mission Phase Stop Time        : 1972-03-02
      Spacecraft Operations Type     : LAUNCH
 
 
    EARTH-JUPITER CRUISE
    --------------------
      Mission Phase Start Time       : 1972-03-02
      Mission Phase Stop Time        : 1973-11-26
      Spacecraft Operations Type     : CRUISE
 
 
    JUPITER ENCOUNTER
    -----------------
      Target Name                    : JUPITER
      Mission Phase Start Time       : 1973-11-26
      Mission Phase Stop Time        : 1974-01-01
      Spacecraft Operations Type     : FLYBY
 
 
    POST-JUPITER CRUISE
    -------------------
      Mission Phase Start Time       : 1974-01-01
      Mission Phase Stop Time        : 1997-03-31
      Spacecraft Operations Type     : CRUISE
MISSION_OBJECTIVES_SUMMARY
 
  Mission Objectives Summary
  ==========================
REFERENCE_DESCRIPTION Fimmel, R.O., W. Swindell, E. Burgess, Pioneer Odyssey, NASA SP-396,Scientific and Technical Information Office, National Aeronautics andSpace Administration, Washington, D.C., 1977.