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Old 03-01-2003, 12:06 AM   #1
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To Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before...

Pioneer's mission was only supposed to last 21 months...it lasted 31 years...

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/0....ap/index.html

Pioneer 10 falls silent after nearly 31 years
Tuesday, February 25, 2003 Posted: 9:33 PM EST (0233 GMT)


LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to venture out of the solar system, has fallen silent after traveling billions of miles from Earth on a mission that has lasted nearly 31 years, NASA said Tuesday.

What was apparently the spacecraft's last signal was received January 22 by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network. At the time, Pioneer 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth; the signal, traveling at the speed of light, took 11 hours and 20 minutes to arrive.

The signal and the two previous signals were very faint. The Deep Space Network heard nothing from Pioneer 10 during a final attempt at contact on February 7. No more attempts are planned.

Pioneer 10 was launched March 2, 1972, on a 21-month mission. It became the first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt and the first to obtain close-up images of Jupiter. In 1983, it became the first manmade object to leave the solar system when it passed the orbit of distant Pluto.

Although Pioneer 10's mission officially ended in 1997, scientists continued to track the TRW Inc.-built spacecraft as part of a study of communication technology for NASA's future Interstellar Probe mission. Pioneer 10 hasn't relayed telemetry data since April 27.

"It was a workhorse that far exceeded its warranty, and I guess you could say we got our money's worth," said Larry Lasher, Pioneer 10 project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Pioneer 10 carries a gold plaque engraved with a message of goodwill and a map showing the Earth's location in the solar system. The spacecraft continues to coast toward the star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus. It will take 2 million years to reach it.
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Old 03-01-2003, 12:08 AM   #2
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Old 03-01-2003, 12:11 AM   #3
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What language is the message of goodwill written in?
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Old 03-01-2003, 12:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by meegannie
What language is the message of goodwill written in?
good question meggie...I looked it up...this is what I found:



On the plaque a man and woman stand before an outline of the spacecraft. The man's hand is raised in a gesture of good will. The physical makeup of the man and woman were determined from results of a computerized analysis of the average person in our civilization.

The key to translating the plaque lies in understanding the breakdown of the most common element in the universe - hydrogen. This element is illustrated in the left-hand corner of the plaque in schematic form showing the hyperfine transition of neutral atomic hydrogen. Anyone from a scientifically educated civilization having enough knowledge of hydrogen would be able to translate the message. The plaque was designed by Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Frank Drake and drawn by Linda Salzman Sagan.


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Old 03-01-2003, 01:53 AM   #5
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Someone just wanted to put naked people on there.
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Old 03-01-2003, 02:18 AM   #6
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:38 AM   #7
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what if the aliens are offended by nekkid people?
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:56 AM   #8
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what if they think we walk around nekkid all the time
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:58 AM   #9
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The aliens will hate us
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Old 03-01-2003, 04:18 AM   #10
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either that or come in hoards looking like this -->
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Old 03-01-2003, 04:33 AM   #11
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I was just thinking something like that Cleasai
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