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Cosmic Dust Detector

NSSDCA ID: 1968-100A-04

Mission Name: Pioneer 9
Principal Investigator:Mr. Otto E. Berg


This experiment was designed (1) to measure the cosmic-dust flux density in the solar system, (2) to determine the distribution of cosmic-dust concentrations in the earth's orbit, (3) to determine the gradient, flux density, and speed of particles in meteor streams, and (4) to perform an inflight control experiment on the reliability of the microphone as a cosmic-dust sensor. The experiment instrumentation was identical to that carried on Pioneer 8, consisting essentially of two thin-film-grid detectors (separated by a distance of 5 cm) that produced an electrical signal when the film was penetrated by a micrometeoroid. Each film had a sensitive area of 100 sq cm and was composed of 16 segments that provided both the direction and the time of flight needed for the meteoroid to traverse the 5-cm distance between the front-film and the rear-film sensor. The combined results of the Pioneer 8 and 9 cosmic-dust experiments lent strong support to the hypothesis that the bulk of meteoroid dust is of cometary origin.

Alternate Names

  • Pioneer9/CosmicDustDetector
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:cdd.p9

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Space Physics: Zodiacal Light/Interplanet Dust
  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Otto E. BergPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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