[astroCS] PIONEER 10 - asi posledny signal...

Jan Rybak choc at ta3.sk
Mon Mar 3 06:16:18 UTC 2003

Vazene kolegyne a vazeni kolegovia,

mozno Vas zaujme nasledovna sprava, ktoru ste dufam nedostali uz z
ineho zdroja.

Prijemnu pracu praje

Jano Rybak (choc at astro.sk)

TL, 3/3/2003

> Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 14:58:47 -0800
> From: "NASANews at Ames" <nasanews at mail.arc.nasa.gov>

> Michael Mewhinney						Feb. 25, 2003
> NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
> Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000
> E-mail: Michael.S.Mewhinney at nasa.gov
> RELEASE: 03-13AR
> After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 
> spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth.  Pioneer's last, very 
> weak signal was received
> on Jan. 22, 2003.
> NASA engineers report that Pioneer 10's radioisotope power source has 
> decayed, and it may not have enough power to send additional 
> transmissions to Earth.  NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) did not 
> detect a signal during the last contact attempt on Feb. 7, 2003.  The 
> previous three contacts, including the Jan. 22 signal, were very 
> faint, with no telemetry received. The last time a Pioneer 10 contact 
> returned telemetry data was April 27, 2002.  NASA has no additional 
> contact attempts planned for Pioneer 10.
> "Pioneer 10 was a pioneer in the true sense of the word.  After it 
> passed Mars on its long journey into deep space, it was venturing 
> into places where nothing built by humanity had ever gone before," 
> said Dr. Colleen Hartman, director of NASA's Solar System Exploration 
> Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington.  "It ranks among the most 
> historic as well as the most scientifically rich exploration missions 
> ever undertaken," she said.
> "Originally designed for a 21-month mission, Pioneer 10 exceeded all 
> expectations and lasted more than 30 years.  It was a workhorse that 
> far exceeded its warranty, and I guess you could say we got our 
> money's worth," said Pioneer 10 Project Manager, Dr. Larry Lasher of 
> NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley.
> Pioneer 10 was built by TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., and was 
> launched on March 2, 1972 on a three-stage Atlas-Centaur rocket. 
> Pioneer 10 reached a speed of 32,400 mph needed for the flight to 
> Jupiter, making it the fastest human-made object to leave the Earth; 
> fast enough to pass the moon in 11 hours and to cross Mars' orbit, 
> about 50 million miles away, in just 12 weeks.
> On July 15, 1972, Pioneer 10 entered the asteroid belt, a 
> doughnut-shaped area that measures some 175 million miles wide and 50 
> million miles thick. The material in the belt travels at speeds up to 
> 45,000 mph and ranges in size from dust particles to rock chunks as 
> big as Alaska.  
> Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid 
> belt, considered a spectacular achievement, and then headed toward 
> Jupiter.  Accelerating to a speed of 82,000 mph, Pioneer 10 passed by 
> Jupiter on December 3, 1973. 
> The spacecraft was the first to make direct observations and obtain 
> close-up images of Jupiter.  Pioneer 10 also charted the gas giant's 
> intense radiation belts, located the planet's magnetic field, and 
> established that Jupiter is predominantly a liquid planet.   In 1983, 
> Pioneer 10 became the first human-made object to pass the orbit of 
> Pluto, the most distant planet from the sun.
> Following its encounter with Jupiter, Pioneer 10 explored the outer 
> regions of the solar system, studying energetic particles from the 
> sun (solar wind), and cosmic rays entering our portion of the Milky 
> Way. The spacecraft continued to make valuable scientific 
> investigations in the outer regions of the solar system until its 
> science mission ended on March 31, 1997.
> Since that time, Pioneer 10's weak signal has been tracked by the DSN 
> as part of a new advanced concept study of communication technology 
> in support of NASA's future Interstellar Probe mission.  At last 
> contact, Pioneer 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth, or 82 times the 
> nominal distance between the sun and the Earth.  A that distance, it 
> takes more than 11 hours and 20 minutes for the radio signal, 
> traveling at the speed of light, to reach the Earth.
> "From Ames Research Center and the Pioneer Project, we send our 
> thanks to the many people at the Deep Space Network and the Jet 
> Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), who made it possible to hear the 
> spacecraft signal for this long," said Pioneer 10 Flight Director 
> David Lozier, also of NASA Ames.
> Pioneer 10 explored Jupiter, traveled twice as far as the most 
> distant planet in our solar system, and as Earth's first emissary 
> into space, is carrying a gold plaque that describes what we look 
> like, where we are and the date when the mission began.  Pioneer 10 
> will continue to coast silently as a ghost ship through deep space 
> into interstellar space, heading generally for the red star 
> Aldebaran, which forms the eye of the constellation Taurus (The 
> Bull). Aldebaran is about 68 light years away.   It will take Pioneer 
> 10 more than 2 million years to reach it.  Its sister ship, Pioneer 
> 11, ended it mission Sept. 30, 1995, when the last transmission from 
> the spacecraft was received.
> Further information about Pioneer 10 is available on the Internet at:
> http://spaceprojects.arc.nasa.gov/Space_Projects/pioneer/PNhome.html
> -end -

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