NASA MISSIONS - PIONEER MISSION

POST 1900

DISCOVERIES AND DATES

The pioneer program is a series of eight unmanned space missions designed for planetary exploration by the Pioneer Project Office at NASA. There were a lot of missions but the most important missions were Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11.

Launched on 2nd March 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the Asteroid belt and to make direct observations and close up pictures of the planet Jupiter. The spacecraft also pictured Jupiter's moons, took measurements of the planets atmosphere and interior and discovered it was mainly a liquid planet. It also explored the outer regions of the Solar System.

Launched on 5th April 1973, Pioneer 11 also travelled through the Asteroid belt and came in close contact with Jupiter. This close contact allowed them to see images of the Great Red Spot. It also took information on Jupiter's moon. On 1st September 1979 Pioneer 11 made the first direct observation of Saturn and it's planet size moon, Titan and its other two smaller moons. It also studied and took amazing photos of Saturns bright outer rings.

TECHNOLOGIES OF THE TIME

The main technologies used in these missions were the NASA Spacecrafts. Pioneer 10 was fitted with 10 scientific instruments and Pioneer 11 with 11 instruments. These instruments ranged from telescopes, cameras, video, infrared radiometer and computers.
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CONTRIBUTIONS AND UNDERSTANDING OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

All of the Missions from NASA brought some new information back, but information and pictures received from Pioneer 10 and 11 were great contributions to our understanding of the the universe today.
These two missions investigated the planets Jupiter and Saturn and their moons and also Saturn's outer rings.
Pioneer missions 6, 7, 8 and 9 are classed as "weather network" and because they orbit the sun they can help to predict what the weather will do.