In 1972, NASA launched two twin probes, called Pioneer 10 and 11 500 Internal Server Error

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Voyager probes, they were pretty significant in their achievements.

Not only were they the first spacecraft to visit the asteroid belt, Jupiter, and Saturn; they even carried with them a plaque that carried a message on behalf of all humankind. The Voyager probe, of course, famously bore a plaque that depicted our location in the galaxy, as well as a golden record full of music and sounds from Earth. The Pioneer plaque that came before it depicted a man and a woman, as well as a map of our location within the galaxy. We’re going to be retro pioneers this week and explore some of the things the Pioneer probes saw while dashing around the outer solar system.

In 1974, Pioneer 11 flew over the north pole of Jupiter and sent back a photo of the planet that features these swirling bending storms. The large belts of winds are very clear here despite the retro-style image quality.Photograph: NASA
After visiting Jupiter, Pioneer 11 continued onward to Saturn, becoming the first spacecraft to ever visit this ringed icon. While kind of fuzzy, this photo still highlights some of the gaps in Saturn’s rings and the texture in the atmosphere. You can see the planet’s largest moon, Titan, shining in the lower right as a little orange dot,Photograph: NASA
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Pioneer 11 captured this image on September 1, 1979, and it was humankind’s first close-up image of Saturn. The moody shadows give this image a 1940s noir sort of feel.Photograph: NASA
Designed by scientists Carl Sagan and Frank Drake, the Pioneer Plaque is a precursor to the Voyager Golden Record—it was designed to help communicate information about our species to an intelligent life-form. A male and female figure are seen here along with a pulsar map that gives the location of the Earth by using an alignment of stars in the galaxy. 500 Internal Server Error

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Take a pioneering tour through other planets in WIRED's collection of space photos here.


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