Science: ... And a Message From Earth

While scientists debate the existence of the robot vehicle supposedly sending messages from an extraterrestrial civilization, the U.S. is launching a message-bearing spacecraft of its own. Scheduled to blast off this week, a second Pioneer spacecraft will begin the two-year, 620-million-mile journey to the planet Jupiter—and beyond. Pioneer 11 is an almost identical twin of its predecessor, Pioneer 10, which will pass close enough to Jupiter in December to send back pictures and data about the atmosphere, strong magnetic field and puzzling red spot of the giant planet. Because the new craft, like Pioneer 10, may break the sun's gravitational grasp...

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