Close Up of the Pioneer Spacecraft Radio-Isotope Generator

Pioneer Spacecraft Radio-Isotope Generator
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Two "Radio-Isotope Generators" (RTG), containing Plutonium, generated heat by radioactive decay, which in turn was converted into electricity.  The Pioneer spacecraft could not be powered by solar panels, as the distance from the Sun was too great. 

Created:

2016

Photographer:

Eric Long

ID #:

NASM 2016-00091

Source:

National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Copyright/Owner:

Smithsonian Institution

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