Test mock-up of the Pioneer Jupiter 10 spacecraft, 1972.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The spacecraft is shown undergoing vibration tests. Two Pioneer spacecraft were launched towards Jupiter in the early 1970s; Pioneer 10 on 3rd March 1972 and Pioneer 11 on 6th April 1973. The two spacecraft succesfully transmitted many pictures of Jupiter and its largest moons, providing us with the first close-up pictures of the planet. Pioneer 11 went on to photograph Saturn. Both probes have now left the Solar System.