The unmanned space probe Pioneer 11 makes its closest approach to the planet Saturn, the first man-made object to visit the ringed planet. Scientists pay careful attention to Pioneer’s transmissions as it passes between Saturn’s clouds and its rings, watching for signs of damage (or worse) resulting from collision with the tiny particles that are predicted to exist there; Pioneer 11 slides past Saturn at a distance of only 12,800 miles from the planet’s cloudtops. This is Pioneer 11’s last planetary stop.
Pioneer 11: first visitor to Saturn
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