Science: On to Saturn

NASA's manned space program may be suffering from hard times, but the space agency's unmanned exploration of the solar system is continuing to report stunning successes. In the past few years, robot spacecraft have surveyed the planet Mars in exquisite detail, sent back the first closeup pictures of Venus and Mercury, and penetrated the powerful radiation belts surrounding the sun's largest satellite, Jupiter. Now, after sweeping even closer to Jupiter than did its predecessor, Pioneer 10, last December, Pioneer 11 is beginning the long trip to its next target: Saturn.

The arcing, 1.5 bill ion-mile voyage across a large part of the...

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