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Pioneer 6 revisits earth.

Pioneer 6 revisits Earth

The Pioneer 6 spacecraft, launched into a huge, sun-circling orbit on Dec. 16, 1965, has finally been affected by Earth again. On

Nov. 26, 1988, the craft's orbit carried it close enough to its home planet that its trajectory was alteed by Earth's gravity. As Pioneer 6 passed within 1.16 million miles of Earth -- nearly five times the distance of the moon -- the change lengthened its "year" from 311 days to 317. Two of the craft's six scientific instruments still return data, aiding studies of the solar wind and other phenomena.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 10, 1988
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