Image of Pioneer spacecraft
Pioneer was the name given to a bunch of spacecraft launched between 1958-1978. These spacecraft studied the Earth, the Moon
The Pioneer program was really interesting! Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to pass through the Asteroid Belt. Pioneer 10 is headed in the direction of the constellation Taurus. It will take over 2 million years for Pioneer to pass one of the stars of Taurus!
Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to take close-up photographs of Saturn and its rings!
Even though most of the Pioneer satellites can't communicate with Earth anymore, some of the satellites will keep traveling out to the end of our solar system and beyond! So, the Pioneer missions carry a gold plaque with pictures on it in case extraterrestrial life were ever to find the spacecraft. People on Earth put important pictures on this plaque so that life outside of Earth (if it exists!) would know something about us!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
Have you ever seen a picture of Saturn's rings? If you have ever seen a picture of Saturn, it's likely you saw its rings too! The rings are very pretty and many colors. They circle around the middle of...more
Do you like to race? Have you ever raced a friend in running...or how about in swimming? The Voyager 1 spacecraft and the Pioneer 10 spacecraft are in a race right now!They are in a race to be the farthest...more
Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system! It's also very bright in the sky. We don't know who discovered it, but we do know the ancient Greeks named the planet after the god, Zeus. The United...more
Have you ever seen the Southern or Northern Lights? Did you know that other planets (besides Earth) have them too? Scientists call these cosmic light shows the "aurora". Saturn is one of the planets that...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more
Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed a person on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the U. S. rocket Saturn 5 was launched carrying the lunar landing module Eagle. The Eagle was released and it reached...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969 and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to its surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the...more