Pioneer Unmanned Spaceflight

Pioneer 10: Jupiter’s first visitor from Earth

JupiterNASA’s Pioneer 10 space probe, launched in 1972 and boosted to unprecedented speeds by a three-stage rocket, makes its closest pass to the planet Jupiter, the first human-made vehicle to do so. Zooming past Jupiter’s equator at a distance of less than 100,000 miles, Pioneer 10’s electronics are nearly fried by the giant planet’s intense radiation. Pioneer 10 presses on toward the edge of the solar system, continuing to report back through the 1990s.