The Quest to Understand the Pioneer Anomaly

  title={The Quest to Understand the Pioneer Anomaly},
  author={Michael Martin Nieto},
  journal={Europhysics News},
  • M. Nieto
  • Published 1 November 2006
  • Physics
  • Europhysics News
The Pioneer 10/11 missions, launched in 1972 and 1973, and their navigation are reviewed. Beginning in about 1980 an unmodeled force of {approx} 8 x 10{sup -8} cm/s{sup 2} appeared in the tracking data, it later being verified. The cause remains unknown, although radiant heat remains a likely origin. A set of efforts to find the solution are underway: (a) analyzing in detail all available data, (b) using data from the New Horizons mission, and (c) considering an ESA dedicated mission. 
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AbstractThe Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft yielded the mostprecise navigation in deep space to date. These spacecrafthad exceptional acceleration sensitivity. However, analysisof their radio-metric