US space probe: "Pioneer 10" already 40 years out of the solar system

According to calculations by the US space agency Nasa, the US space probe "Pioneer 10", which was the first spacecraft to fly beyond the known limits of our solar system on Tuesday (June 13) exactly 40 years ago, is now probably around 20 billion kilometers from the sun away.

US space probe: "Pioneer 10" already 40 years out of the solar system

According to calculations by the US space agency Nasa, the US space probe "Pioneer 10", which was the first spacecraft to fly beyond the known limits of our solar system on Tuesday (June 13) exactly 40 years ago, is now probably around 20 billion kilometers from the sun away.

The probe was launched on March 3, 1972 from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida and in the years that followed flew past, among other things, the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn. On June 13, 1983, Pioneer 10 flew through the orbit of Neptune, becoming the first man-made spacecraft to fly past the most distant known planet in our solar system, according to NASA. Neptune is on average about 4.5 billion kilometers away from the sun.

Similar missions followed later with "Pioneer 11" and the two "Voyager" probes. Voyager 1 eventually overtook Pioneer 10 as the furthest man-made object from Earth. The last time "Pioneer 10" sent data was in January 2003, an attempt to contact them in March 2006 failed. Originally, however, the mission was only intended to last 21 months.

In the event that "Pioneer 10" should encounter "intelligent life" on its journey, according to Nasa, an aluminum plaque is attached to the probe. On it are, among other things, illustrations of a man, a woman and our solar system.

NEXT NEWS