Pioneer 10 Phones Home

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Kline, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    NASA contacts Pioneer 10 across 7.4 billion miles

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — NASA bridged 7.4 billion miles of space to contact the Pioneer 10 spacecraft on the 30th anniversary of its launch, mission managers said Saturday.

    Scientists beamed a message to the craft Friday from a radio telescope in the desert east of Los Angeles. A radio telescope in Spain received the response 22 hours and six minutes later, said Larry Lasher, the mission's project manager.

    "The signal was loud and clear, and I'd like to say this contact worked like a charm," Lasher said. NASA last heard from the craft in July.

    Pioneer 10's original, 21-month mission has improbably stretched three decades. The spacecraft was launched March 2, 1972.

    It passed through the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and obtained 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.

    Pioneer 10 is now in galactic orbit, twice as far from Earth as Pluto. It is traveling at 27,380 mph relative to the sun, and is in line to reach Aldebaran, the red star that forms the eye of the constellation Taurus. But it won't get there for about 2 million years.

    Lasher said the clarity of the signal Saturday gave him hope of remaining in touch with the craft for another year.
     
  2. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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    Very cool indeed.
     
  3. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    That is pretty darned cool.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    that's incredible. I can barely comprehend the distances those messages traveled.
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Pioneer cost about $50 million. $10 million for the probe and $40 million for the extension cord! :b
     
  6. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    For those not familiar with Pioneeer 10, it is the space probe that has a plaque on its side (made in gold) of a man and a woman, with formulas that can help an intelligent life pinpoint earth. Look at http://www.enterprisemission.com/pioneer.html
     
  7. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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  8. NickT

    NickT Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! I can't believe that Pioneer is still working. It's been in space as long as I've been alive.
     
  9. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    I don't know if anyone on here builds models as another hobby, but there's a wonderful kit of Pioneer 10 available from RealSpace Models:
    1/24 scale Pioneer 10
    Highly recommended. The owner of RealSpace, Glenn Johnson, does some beautiful work!
     
  10. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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  11. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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  12. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Why don't they send a signal every day? Is there a battery life issue? The report mentions that they hadn't heard from it since July. If it gets destroyed, wouldn't you want to know when it happened? Or does it matter?
     
  13. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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  14. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    I only have one question...

    When Pioneer 10 called did it dial direct or use 10-10-220? After all, the 20 minute call would only cost us taxpayers a buck.

    One a more serious note, thanks for the links. (You are not alone Patrick!)
     
  15. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    ROTFL!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I don't know, how much does it cost after 20 minutes? (edit: just asked a coworker ... 7 cents /minute) Let's see ... 22 hours = 1320 minutes. Soooo ... that's $1 plus ((1300 minutes times 7 cents per minute) divided by 100 Cents per Dollar) = $92! Gee, you're right ... 10-10-220 is much cheaper than the DSN! [​IMG]
     

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