DAVID HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration depicting a Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft. The main feature is the large high-gain dish antenna. Immediately below this are three gold- covered components: the nearest is the main imaging bay, containing visible, ultraviolet and infrared instruments. At right is the stellar reference assembly, whilst behind the main body is the asteroid/meteoroid detector. Two booms carry finned, cylindrical radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for supplying electricity. The other boom holds a magnetometer. Pioneer 10 was launched in March 1972, reaching Jupiter in November 1973. Pioneer 11 was launched in April 1973, reaching Saturn in September 1979.
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