Pioneer V

On this day in 1960, the Lovell telescope set a distance record for making contact with a spacecraft. It made contact with the American Pioneer V satellite at a distance of 655,000 km (407,000 miles). That is a bit less than twice the distance of the Moon, so in today's terms in seems quite nearby. Pioneer V was designed to provide the first map of the interplanetary magnetic field between Venus and Earth. It functioned for a record 106 days and the last communication with Earth was from a record distance of 36.2 million km (22.5 million miles). This was beaten a couple of years later by Mariner 2.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 14th Mar 2005 (10:34 UTC) | Permalink
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