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"Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel beyond Mars to the outer planets of our solar system. During the 21-month, 620-million-mile journey to Jupiter, Pioneer penetrated the previously unexplored asteroid belt without mishap, eliminating the long held fear that high-speed particles or huge asteroids might destroy the spacecraft. This film tells of the findings recorded by the scientific instruments and cameras onboard. After leaving the Jovian system, Pioneer will be on a course that will take the spacecraft out of our solar system where it will wander endlessly through the Milky Way Galaxy, carrying a message for possible extraterrestrial beings."
The last intelligible telemetry from Pioneer 10 was received on April 27, 2002; the signal from the spacecraft was lost completely on January 23, 2003.
Public domain film from the National Archives with the aspect ratio corrected and mild noise reduction applied.
from "PIONEER 10 SPACECRAFT DEPARTS SOLAR SYSTEM" 1983
The first departure of a spacecraft from the solar system will occur on Monday, June 13  at approximately 5:00 a.m. PDT. At that time, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft will cross the orbit of Neptune and be farther from the sun than all of the known planets.
Pioneer's final step across Neptune's orbit happens at a distance of 2.81 billion miles from the sun. Neptune is currently the outermost planet. Pl.uto will be nearer to the sun than Neptune for the next 17 years because part of its elongated oval orbit lies inside Neptune's orbit.
Pioneer's primary mission was an encounter with Jupiter in December 1973, 21 months after its launch in March 1972. Now, nearly a decade later, the craft is on an "extended" mission looking for a tenth planet and gravity waves, charting galactic cosmic rays, and making a range of findings about the heliosphere.
The heliosphere is created and maintained by the solar wind, a million-mile-an-hour flow of charged atomic particles "boiling" off the sun's surface.
Pioneer is seeking the heliopause, the boundary where the solar wind "dies" as it hits the interstellar gas. Scientists believe that at this boundary the solar wind piles up and is heated in a shock front...
Pioneer is managed by NASA's Ames Research Center. Ames is the site of the Pioneer Operations Control Center which controls and communicates with the spacecraft.
TRW Space and Communications Group built both Pioneers 10 and 11...
NASA hopes to track Pioneer 10 with the Deep Space Network (DSN) radio receivers for another 10 years, out beyond 5 billion miles, 2.2 billion miles beyond the spacecraft's present distance...
Pioneer sends its information with an 8-watt radio transmitter, which has a power equivalent to that of a Christmas tree light. When it is received by the 210-foot-diameter radio antennas of the DSN, the original 8-watt signal has weakened to one billion-trillionths of a watt (.000,000,000,000,000,000,001 watt).
Firsts for Pioneer 10:
1) First flight beyond Mars.
2) First trip to Jupiter.
3) First crossing of the asteroid belt and discovery that it presents little hazard to spacecraft.
4) First passage through Jupiter's tremendously powerful radiation belts (five to 10 thousand times as intense as earth's, with millions of times the energy).
4) First closeup pictures of Jupiter's Great Red Spot and belts and zones showing details of atmosphere circulation.
6) First crossings of the orbits of Uranus, Pluto, and Neptune.
Pioneer, Pioneer 10, Pioneer F, space probe, Jupiter, Jupiter probe, spacecraft, robot, Ames Research Center, TRW, NASA, space program
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