Science: Message from Mankind

Scheduled to begin this week, the journey will be the most spectacular ever undertaken from earth: an odyssey of two years and half a billion miles—including a hazardous stretch through the asteroid belt—to fly to within 87,000 miles of the planet Jupiter. If all goes well, the unmanned ship—Pioneer 10—will radio back the first closeup pictures of the giant planet, probe its intense magnetic fields and radiation belts and perhaps peek at one of the twelve Jovian moons. Then with the planet's powerful gravity acting as a slingshot, Pioneer will be hurled beyond...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!