Pioneer Jupiter spacecraft, 1972.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
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. The equipment at the end of the two visible booms are the radioisotope thermoelectric generators which provided the spacecraft with electric power.