After a space journey of twenty months, America's Pioneer Eleven research vehicle is about to pass close to the surface of the planet Jupiter - on its way to a further planet, Saturn, which it will not reach before 1979.
GV Pioneer Eleven probe before launch
GV Launch from Cape Kennedy in April 1973
ANIMATION of probe's route away from earth
ANIMATION showing annual progress of probe to eventual target at Sarurn
SV Model of probe in flight
GV South Polar view of Jupiter
GV North Polar view of Jupiter and CU same
SV Model of Pioneer probe approaching Jupiter (5 shots)
ANIMATION astroid belt
ANIMATION Pioneer 11 leving Jupiter for Saturn
Initials ET/1731 ET/1746
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Background: After a space journey of twenty months, America's Pioneer Eleven research vehicle is about to pass close to the surface of the planet Jupiter - on its way to a further planet, Saturn, which it will not reach before 1979.
On December 2, Pioneer is due to begin transmitting new and more detailed pictures of Jupiter of Jupiter - the largest planet in the solar system.
Pioneer Eleven was launched from Cape Kennedy in April, 1973 with fourteen complex data-gathering instruments on board. Its ultimate destination is the planet Saturn - a journey lasting six years.
Its fly-past of Jupiter, only just over 26,000 miles above the planet's surface, will enable scientists to make more accurate assessments of Jupiter's properties than was possible last year, when Jupiter Ten returned pictures taken from 82,000 miles above its surface.
Pioneer Ten's successful negotiation of Jupiter's radiation belt made it possible for Pioneer Eleven to be routed to fly near Jupiter on its way to Saturn. Now, the results of this closer-than-ever probe of the giant planet are about to be seen.