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From the Archives (February 21, 1972): U.S. Satellite to Jupiter

Cape Kennedy (Florida): The United States will launch the first satellite aimed at Jupiter on February 27, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced yesterday. Known as Pioneer-10, the 250 kilo scientific probe will take nearly two years to reach its destination. The fastest satellite ever blasted off towards a planet, Pioneer-10 will cover 800,000 kms. a day during the first week of its flight. When it becomes “caught” by the pull of the gravity of Jupiter — 1,000 times more powerful than the earth’s — it will fly over the planet at 79,200 kms. an hour, towards the end of next year. After that, Pioneer-10 will travel indefinitely through the inter-stellar world in a straight line. During the four-day over flight of the yellow-orange, grey-blue planet, Pioneer-10 will take 10 photographs. It will study Jupiter’s magnetic fields, the atmosphere, and the radiation belts. NASA estimated that these radio-active belts were 1,000,000 times more intense than Van Allen’s rings around the earth. The Pioneer-10 probe will be one of the great “Firsts” in the cosmos, if everything goes according to NASA’s plans. It will give mankind the first-ever information on the hidden face of the planet which is now 800 million kms. from the earth.


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 1:52:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/archives/from-the-archives-february-21-1972-us-satellite-to-jupiter/article65068683.ece