Farewell and Adieu to Pioneer 10
I remember when the Pioneer 10 spacecraft flew by Mars, and then went on to make the first direct observations of Jupiter. When launched in 1972, the war in Vietnam was in full swing. Traveling at 32,400 mph, Pioneer 10 was the fastest man-made object to ever leave Earth, and then reached 82,000 mph after getting a gravitational tug from Jupiter. On past Pluto and heading toward the red star Aldebaran, Pioneer 10 sent its final message to NASA on January 22, 2003, at 7.6x109 miles from Earth. Not bad for a craft with only a 2-year warranty from builder, TRW. Data collected from Pioneer 10 has been invaluable. Farewell and adieu to Pioneer 10, it served us well!