Since the POT began the conquest of space more than 50 years ago, has sent many probes beyond the Earth's atmosphere. Some like the CassiniFor example, he died in the atmosphere of Saturn, a destination he has shared with many others. But there are some who continued their journey away from the solar planets, as in the case of the Pioneer 10.
The Pioneer 10 faith a successful probe launched on March 2, 1972 with destination Jupiter, planet to which it arrived successfully. However, after passing through the orbit of the gas giant, he continued on his way further away from Earth, on his way to the star Aldebaran, where it will arrive in thousands of years.
However, unlike what happened to some of his younger ‘sisters’, such as Voyager 1 and 2We haven't known anything about this probe for 16 years. On January 23 these three years plus one year were fulfilled without knowing anything about the trip of this pioneer ship that began to show us what space is like beyond the Earth's atmosphere and how are the planets that accompany us in this huge neighborhood stellar.
16 years without contact with the Pioneer 10
In the last contact we had with the Pioneer 10, in 2003, we learned that the probe was traveling to Aldebaran about 12 billion kilometers of the Earth, well beyond the orbit of Pluto, for him Outdoor Solar System in the direction of the area where the sun is already losing its influence.
However, that signal was very weak. Even so, it arrived, it was located and it was a success to add to this trip, since it was also the first probe capable of crossing the asteroid belt successfully and send us images of Jupiter's atmosphere.
In addition, this ship has broken other records, such as being the first human probe to overcome the orbit of neptune, which he achieved in 1983, and subsequently did the same with Pluto.
Then, since January 23, 2003, total silence. It was tried to contact later, in February of 2003, and also in March of 2006, that was the last occasion in which its antenna had to be well aligned with the Earth. However, nothing was known.
We must assume that the ship is still heading for Aldebaran, a gigantic star it will reach, if nothing fails, within more than a million and a half years. Good luck on your long trip!