Science: Pioneer's Passage

On its way to a December rendezvous with Jupiter, the unmanned spacecraft Pioneer 10 last week finished the 210-day leg of its journey that took it through the asteroid belt. Pioneer. which was launched in March 1972, thus became the first vehicle from earth to pass safely through the vast ring of rocky debris that circles the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The relatively uneventful, 200 million-mile passage removed a major concern of both science-fiction writers and scientists: that spacecraft in the asteroid belt would be damaged and perhaps destroyed by flying rocks.

Scientists from NASA'S Ames Research Center...

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