Pioneer 10, the first probe to venture past the asteroid belt, has gone silent.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianW, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    A true workhorse, Pioneer 10, after over thirty years of space flight, has stopped phoning home at over 11 light-hours away.

    Pioneer 10

    In light of the recent tragedy, let us not forget the astounding successes we've had, like Pioneer 10, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the unforgetable moon landings.


    Our legacy has begun.
     
  2. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I always wondered when this day would come. When I was about 10 I remember reading in a National Geographic about this spaceprobe and it fueled my imagination.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And following on the heels of Pioneer 10 is Voyager 2, still telemetering data back to Earth from the very edge of the Solar System.

    My goodness. Just think about the amazing successes of late that receive near zero coverage in the popular "news" media. Deep Space One, for example (the first ion-driven propulsion system and "smart" onboard computer). And an asteroid landing made by a spacecraft not even designed to "land." The Cassini spacecraft, the last of the Mariner-class unmanned interplanetary science platforms, is in great health and headed toward a historic rendezvous with Saturn. And two unmanned spacecraft are orbiting Mars, sending lots of amazing data back to us (though they, too, are largely ignored by a mainstream media which like to insist the public is "not interested" in space exploration).

    And so it goes.
     
  4. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    Yeah its pretty sick that you rarely here anything about space exploration unless something tragic happens.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah but Jack, would you rather preempt a fascinating high speed car chase in order to cover some sci-fi-geeky stuff on the evening news?!?! My goodness I can hear Hal Fishman choking on all the polysyllabic words! [​IMG]

    Or maybe this should be a topic for one of his always-insightful Hal Fishman Commentaries. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  7. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    You gotta keep paying those phone bills. [​IMG]

    Pioneer 10 outlived anybody's expectations (as is Voyager 2).
     
  8. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    fascinating. I was a kid when I first read about the Pioneers and their "grand tour" of the solar system. to think that it's only now that it's finally run out of juice.

    as an aside, the newspaper reports in the local papers today didn't actually say it had run out of power, just that NASA would stop tracking it. this gave me the (erroneous) impression that NASA cutting it off, possibly due to funding problems, which had struck me as being a bit foolish. goes to show the "power of the media" to "distort".

     
  9. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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  10. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  11. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  12. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  13. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Incredible. 7.6 billion miles away and communications were still possible. But on Earth, as soon as it starts to rain, our satellite service gets knocked out of commission! [​IMG]

    I actually learned about Pioneer 10's fate on the Canadian specialty network "Space". Because they don't air as many commercials as most networks do, this frequently leaves them with an extra five to ten minutes of broadcast time before the top of the hour. They fill the space with various news pieces related to science, science-fiction and space exploration. Not only did they cover Pioneer 10's termination, they also covered the fact that NASA is now accelerating the development of a replacement for the space shuttle. The specialist they interviewed even pointed out that the competitors for the X Prize are buying from NASA the same technology that NASA had shelved a while back with the hope of reusing the shuttles for a few more years.

    News about space is available out there. It's just a bit harder to find. That's all.
     
  14. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I don't think 7 billion miles is fathomable to most people; however, the fact that it had "only" gone 11 light hours in thirty years really brings home the vastness of space.
     
  15. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Space is big, really big...
     
  16. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    My thought exactly when I first saw that.
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Which sort of puts the kibosh on the sillier examples of Hollywood space fantasies. Remember in Hollywood's blatant desecration of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers where a graphic was shown demonstrating how the bugs are lobbing asteroids at Earth from clear across the freaking galaxy? We won't bother with how the rocks managed to get here so quickly (nor how well they were aimed). But the public at large has no appreciation whatsoever of the distances involved. Thus, Hollywood can get away with the nonsense it calls "science fiction" (stuff that no writer of literary SF ever could get away with).

    Then, again, not every SF film can be a 2001: A Space Odyssey (woops, mentioned that movie again!).

    Julie: Still haven't read The Door Into Summer, have you?
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  19. andrew markworthy

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  20. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    To recap Pioneer 10, IIRC, it was the space probe with the famous plaque, of a human male and female, plus diagrams of where one might locate the earth in our galaxy.

    Also, IIRC, Voyager 2 has the "gold Record" of recorded selections from earth, that also included a gold turntable. (Or was it V1?)
     

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