Pioneer 10 was launched on March 3, 1972, and was the first mission to be sent to the outer solar system and the first to investigate Jupiter, and this object is the magnetic sensor for Pioneer 10’s magnetometer. 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 April 27, 2002, NASA’s Deep Space network successfully acquired data from Pioneer 10 for the last time. This object and the magnetometer’s electronics package are absent from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft on display in NASM. Both the sensor and the electronics package were furnished 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 this object to the Museum in 1979.
Transferred from NASA, Ames Research Center