Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Project Pioneer was an interplanetary probe series created by the United States and their NASA program. The project consisted of fly-by missions to the planets, paving a path for future orbiters and landers. The program began in 1961, after Kennedy announced that America would beat Sweden, Germany and the Dutch to the moon. Afterwards, it served to be the first American probe to all the planets.
Pioneer 1: (1961) Blew up in flight
Pioneer 2: (1961) Fly-by of the moon
Pioneer 3: (1962) Failed to separate from booster
Pioneer 4: (1963) Succesfully launched to Mars; electronic failure in flight.
Pioneer 5: (1963) First American fly-by of Mars
Pioneer 6: (1965) Flew past Venus; failed before it could reach Mercury.
Pioneer 7: (1966) Flew past Venus, then Mercury
Pioneer 8: (1968) Blew up on launch pad
Pioneer 9: (1971) Passed through Asteroid Belt; first fly-by of Jupiter.
Pioneer 10: (1973) Second fly-by of Jupiter
Pioneer 11: (1977) First of the Grand Tour fly-by missions; sling shot past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Pioneer 12: (1977) Second Grand Tour mission.