What Planets Did NASA’s Pioneer Probes Explore and How Long Did It Take Pioneer 10 To Reach the Planet Jupiter?

Pioneer 10 (1972-1973) was designed to send radio signals back to Earth from Jupiter.

It took the probe 21 months to reach the gas giant.

While it had no cameras, it was also able to scan part of Jupiter’s surface and send back clearer images than had ever been taken from Earth.

Pioneer 11 (1973-1974) used Jupiter’s gravitational force to launch itself toward Saturn. It sent back the first photographs of that planet.

Both Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 went on to gather data from beyond the solar system.

It is hoped that Pioneer 10 will relay data into the twenty-first century; however, due to technical troubles, Pioneer 11 is not expected to last that long.

Both Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 carry bronze plaques aboard, giving directions on how to reach Earth for anyone out there who may find them.