Friday, October 10, 2014

Tonight's Sky for October 11: Pioneer 1 (1958)


It was on this date 56 years ago that the Pioneer 1 space probe was launched with a planned destination of the Moon. The bad news: the probe never came anywhere near reaching the Moon. The significance: this was the first mission overseen by the newly-created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The good news: in its 43-hours in orbit, Pioneer 1 returned some useful scientific data, most notably evidence that Earth was surrounded by bands of radiation.  

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