Pioneer-11 left the solar system

February 23, 1990, spacecraft Pioneer-11 NASA left the solar system! It was the second spacecraft to travel beyond the planetary part of the solar system that ends in the orbit of Neptune.


The Pioneer project, which included two important missions, Pioneer-10 and Pioneer-11, was designed for interplanetary exploration. These two probes were tasked with exploring the outer planets of the solar system, such as Jupiter and Saturn.

Pioneer-11 launched directly at Jupiter in 1973, then used Jupiter’s gravity as a boost to propel it toward Saturn.

The spacecraft captured detailed images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and mapped Jupiter’s polar regions. He also calculated the mass of Jupiter’s moon Callisto.

It took about four years for the spacecraft to reach Saturn and begin its observations of the planet. Finally, as Pioneer-11 passed through Saturn’s clouds, it collected data on the planet and its rings.

About 440 images were sent back to Earth by Pioneer-11, and with this information, scientists confirmed that Saturn has a magnetic field.

They also found that Saturn’s atmosphere consists mostly of liquid hydrogen. The images also included Saturn’s orange moon, Titan, which was covered in clouds and very cold. In this exploration, two new moons of Saturn were also discovered, and the mission of this spacecraft ended in October of the same year.

Leaving the solar system

At that time, the Voyager spacecraft were also on the way to Saturn, and this spacecraft was considered as their pioneer to ensure the safety of flying to those regions. Mission planners preferred that Pioneer be damaged if the path was unsafe, and that the Voyager spacecraft would have changed course in that case. The spacecraft passed through the asteroid belt on its way out into interstellar space. The last contact with Pioneer-11 was made in November 1995, after which we lost contact with this spacecraft.

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