Man's conquest of space is about to take another giant step forward with the launching of Pioneer 10, the American spacecraft destined for Jupiter and a flight into infinity.
Man's conquest of space is about to take another giant step forward with the launching of Pioneer 10, the American spacecraft destined for Jupiter and a flight into infinity. The mission was scheduled to blast off from Cape Kennedy on Sunday (February 27). But storms and high winds caused the postponement until tonight.
In the meantime, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released film of can of the test blast-offs presenting the Pioneer 10 mission, together with animation of the planned flight past Jupiter and out of the solar system.
SYNOPSIS: An Atlas rocket blasts off from Cape Kennedy. A similar rocket carries American hopes during the next big stop in the conquest of space -- the Pioneer Ten mission to Jupiter and beyond, scheduled for blast-off this week.
Animation shows the mission at a crucial point -- entering the radiation belt around Jupiter. Because intense radiation might damage Pioneer's electronic equipment, the craft will approach to within about eighth-seven-thousand miles of the planet. Information will be transmitted back to earth by radio. No other spacecraft has been scheduled to travel so far, so fast. It's expected to approach Jupiter -- a journey of five-hundred million miles -- in December 1973.
Pioneer Ten will photograph the surface of Jupiter -- the largest planet in our solar system. Instruments will also measure the temperature and study the surface.
The most bizarre feature of the planet is the Great Red Spot, known as the Eye of Jupiter. It's a huge oval large enough to swallow several earths. Current explanations include a large column of gas or a great build-up of hydrogen ice.
After completing its study of Jupiter, Pioneer travels on the become the first spacecraft to leave the solar system. A special plaque, locating earth and depicting man, is on board in case the craft is intercepted by intelligent being during its journey into infinity.