March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
Pioneer 10, launched on March 3, 1972, was the first mission to the outer solar system, and this electronics package from the Vector Helium Magnetometer is identical to the flown equipment. Pioneer 10 studied the interplanetary and planetary magnetic fields, solar wind, cosmic rays, dust particles, Jupiter’s auroae and radio waves, and the atmosphere of Jupiter and some of its satellites. Pioneer 10 also photographed Jupiter and its satellites. On March 3, 2002 and April 27, 2002, NASA’s Deep Space network successfully acquired data from Pioneer 10. This object is the electronics package for Pioneer 10’s magnetometer. This object and the magnetometer’s sensor are absent from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. Both the sensor and the electronics package were furnished by NASA to complete the Pioneer 10 in the NASM collection. NASA had retained this hardware for back-up use for the International Sun-Earth Explorer launched in 1978.
NASA’s Ames Research Center transferred these electronics to the Museum in 1979.
Transferred from NASA, Ames Research Center