Explorer silenced

June 2003
Astronomy;Jun2003, Vol. 31 Issue 6, p30
The well-traveled Pioneer 10 spacecraft glided out of radio contact at a mere 7.6 billion miles away on January 22, 2003. In an attempt to connect with the wandering space veteran, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) failed to detect a signal on February 7, 2003. When it launched on March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 originally intended to last just 21 months. Twenty-one months and about 23 years later, Pioneer 10 completed its science mission while drifting through the outer regions of the solar system on March 31, 1997.


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