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Thursday, December 19, 2002



Pioneer still working

Pioneer 10 Diagram.
Pioneer 10 Diagram.
Credit: NASA
(CNN) - NASA engineers picked up a signal from the 30-year-old Pioneer 10 from the Deep Space Station near Madrid, Spain this month. Pioneer 10 was the first craft to move through the asteroid belt, a significant achievement, and has been silent since March 2002. Although it has not been the farthest object from the Earth since 1998, when one of the Voyager spacecraft passed it by, it has contributed significantly to our knowledge of our solar system and was the first manmade object past Pluto. Despite the faintness of the signal, which prevented any data from being obtained from the onboard instruments, the fact that it is still working after all this time is absolutely amazing. It is currently 82 Astronomical Units away from the sun, at 7.5 billion miles.

(More info: CNN.com)


- posted by Brian @ 20:54 EST