Silver Anniversary, Golden mission


  • Michael Carlowicz


A mission that produced a string of firsts and volumes of scientific information has reached a new milestone. It also is approaching its end.

On March 2,1997, NASA celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, the most distant and longest-lived planetary explorer of the Space Age. But at the same time, NASA officials announced that the venerable craft has finally reached the end of its useful life.