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Press Release 97-15

Lori J. Rachul
NASA Lewis Research Center
(Bus: 216/433-8806)


CLEVELAND, OH-- On March 2, 1997, NASA Lewis Research Center engineers will join in a 25th Anniversary celebration of the first man-made probe to leave the solar system and travel on a fight path to Jupiter - Pioneer 10. NASA Lewis engineers played an integral role in managing this successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The launch of Pioneer 10 on an Atlas-Centaur was just one of many historic missions managed by Lewis’ launch vehicles team. Atlas-Centaur vehicles have also launched the unmanned Surveyor spacecraft to explore the Moon; Mariners to Mars, Venus and Mercury; and a host of Intelsat commercial communication satellites to provide global communications.

"The success of this launch resulted from a team effort both within the center and with the other NASA Centers involved in the mission," said Ed Muckley, former Pioneer 10 project engineer. Other NASA Centers involved were Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA; and John F. Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Engineers in Lewis’ Launch Vehicles Division were tasked with one of their most exacting missions in having to design a first of its kind launch vehicle that would allow the spacecraft to escape from the gravitational pull of the sun into interstellar space. [Image]

Members of the Pioneer 10 launch vehicle team will be attending commemorative festivities being held at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC on March 2, 1997.

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