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Pioneer Spacecraft

Pioneer spacecraft, ARPA, Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto

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Pioneer (spacecraft), first United States space probe designed to travel beyond Earth's orbit. The initial series was created in early 1958 by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) inherited the program when NASA officially began operating in October 1958. Under NASA, nine Pioneer spacecraft explored interplanetary space from the region of Earth's orbit to beyond Pluto and made important observations of Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Four other Pioneer spacecraft explored the space between Earth and the Moon.


Tatarewicz, Joseph N., M.A., Ph.D.

Independent historian. Author of "Space Technology and Planetary Astronomy".

Article key phrases:

Pioneer spacecraft, ARPA, Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto, orbit, NASA, Moon, October, program

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