Pioneer 10’s Closest Approach to Jupiter

On this day in 1973 the Pioneer 10 spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter, sending back photos of the planet of increasing size. These were the first direct observations and close up images of Jupiter we had yet obtained. In its closest encounter the spacecraft came within 81,000 miles of Jupiter’s atmosphere. The measurements Pioneer 10 took of the intense radiation surrounding Jupiter were critical in the designs of later spacecraft for the Voyager and Galileo missions.

Pioneer 10 Jupiter

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