Pioneer 11 (also known as Pioneer G) was the second mission to visit Jupiter and the first mission to visit Saturn. The spacecraft was launched on April 6, 1973 and flew by Jupiter on December 4, 1974 and Saturn on September 1, 1979. The probe was last heard from November 1995 when the last communication between Earth and the probe ended.
An artist's impression of a Pioneer spacecraft on its way to interstellar space.
|Mission type||Planetary and heliosphere exploration|
|Operator||NASA / ARC|
|Website||Pioneer Project website(archived)|
NASA Archive page
|Mission duration||22 years, 5 months, 25 days|
|Launch mass||259 kilograms (571 lb)|
|Power||155 watts (at launch)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||April 6, 1973, 02:11:00UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1A Star-37E|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral LC-36B|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||September 30, 1995|
|Flyby of Jupiter|
|Closest approach||December 3, 1974|
|Distance||43,000 kilometers (27,000 miles)|
|Flyby of Saturn|
|Closest approach||September 1, 1979|
|Distance||21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles)|
Both Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 had plaques etched in gold. The plaques were designed by a team lead by Carl Sagan to communicate with extraterrestrial life should the spacecraft come into contact with it.
- Pioneer Project Home Page
- Pioneer 11 Profile by NASA's Solar System Exploration
- Ted Stryk's Pioneer 11 at Saturn page
- NSSDC Pioneer 11 page
- Pioneer Odyssey, NASA SP-396, 1977 - This is an entire book about the Pioneer 10 and 11 project, with all pictures and diagrams, on-line! Scroll down to click on the "Table of Contents" link.