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Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission Receives Funding

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Initial funding for a NASA mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of frozen objects at the outskirts of our solar system received formal approval President Bush quietly signed an omnibus bill last week. Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft.

More: - Pluto Mission a Go! Initial Funding Secured

Link: New Horizons - A Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission Study

Farewell to Pioneer 10

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth. Pioneer's last, very weak signal was received on Jan. 22, 2003. NASA engineers report Pioneer 10's radioisotope power source has decayed, and it may not have enough power to send additional transmissions to Earth. NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) did not detect a signal during the last contact attempt Feb. 7, 2003. The previous three contacts, including the Jan. 22 signal, were very faint with no telemetry received. The last time a Pioneer 10 contact returned telemetry data was April 27, 2002. NASA has no additional contact attempts planned for Pioneer 10.

More: NASA - Pioneer 10 Spacecraft Sends Last Signal