Year
1983
Month Day
June 13

Pioneer 10 departs solar system

After more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10, the world’s first outer-planetary probe, leaves the solar system. The next day, it radioed back its first scientific data on interstellar space.

On March 2, 1972, the NASA spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. In December 1973, after successfully negotiating the asteroid belt and a distance of 620 million miles, Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter and sent back to Earth the first close-up images of the spectacular gas giant. On June 13, 1983, the NASA spacecraft left the solar system. NASA officially ended the Pioneer 10 project on March 31, 1997, with the spacecraft having traveled a distance of some six billion miles.

Headed in the direction of the Taurus constellation, Pioneer 10 will pass within three light years of another star–Ross 246–in the year 34,600 A.D. Bolted to the probe’s exterior wall is a gold-anodized plaque, 6 by 9 inches in area, that displays a drawing of a human man and woman, a star map marked with the location of the sun, and another map showing the flight path of Pioneer 10. The plaque, intended for intelligent life forms elsewhere in the galaxy, was designed by astronomer Carl Sagan.

READ MORE: Space Exploration: Timeline and Technologies 

Tags
terms:
Space

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Peasant army marches into London

During the Peasants’ Revolt, a large mob of English peasants led by Wat Tyler marches into London and begins burning and looting the city. Several government buildings were destroyed, prisoners were released, and a judge was beheaded along with several dozen other leading ...read more

Thurgood Marshall appointed to Supreme Court

President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thurgood Marshall to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom C. Clark. On August 30, after a heated debate, the Senate confirmed Marshall’s nomination by a vote of 69 to 11. Two days later, he ...read more

Alexander the Great dies

Alexander the Great, the young Macedonian military genius who forged an empire stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India, dies in Babylon, in present-day Iraq, at the age of 33. Born in Macedonia to King Phillip II and Queen Olympias, Alexander received a classical ...read more

The Miranda rights are established

On June 13, 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, establishing the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. Now considered standard police procedure, “You have the right to remain silent. ...read more

The New York Times publishes the “Pentagon Papers”

The New York Times begins publishing portions of the 47-volume Pentagon analysis of how the U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia grew over a period of three decades. Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who had become an antiwar activist, had stolen the documents. ...read more

Thomas Jefferson subpoenaed in Aaron Burr’s treason trial

President Thomas Jefferson receives a subpoena to testify in the treason trial of his former vice president, Aaron Burr, on June 13, 1807. In the subpoena, Burr asked Jefferson to produce documents that might exonerate him. Burr had already been politically and socially disgraced ...read more

Meriwether Lewis reaches the Great Falls

Having hurried ahead of the main body of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four men arrive at the Great Falls of the Missouri River, confirming that the explorers are headed in the right direction. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had set out on their expedition to the ...read more

Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” released

“How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?” was the question posed by the posters advertising Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s famously controversial novel, released on June 13, 1962. Four years earlier, Kubrick, director of the big-budget Roman epic ...read more

Jurors begin deliberations in Susan Polk trial

On June 13, 2006, jurors began deliberations in the trial of Susan Polk, 48, for the October 2002 murder of her psychotherapist husband Felix Polk, 70, in a poolside cottage at the couple’s Orinda, California, home. Felix was stabbed and cut 27 times and had suffered blunt force ...read more

Lafayette arrives in South Carolina to serve alongside General Washington

On June 13, 1777, a 19-year-old French aristocrat, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, arrives in South Carolina with the intent to serve as General George Washington’s second-in-command. Silas Deane, during his service as the Continental Congress ...read more