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Meteoroid Detectors

NSSDC ID: 1972-012A-04
Mission Name: Pioneer 10
Principal Investigator: Dr. William H. Kinard

Description

This experiment was designed to measure the number of meteoroid impacts on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. The instrument was sensitive to meteoroids of mass approximately 1E-9 g. The instrumentation consisted of 234 cells pressurized with an argon-nitrogen mixture. Penetration of the 25-micrometer-thick skin of the cell resulted in the loss of gas at a rate proportional to the size of the hole. Gas loss was detected with a cold cathode device. The cells were initially pressurized to 1175 torrs at 295 deg Kelvin. The cells were formed by welding together two sheets of stainless steel in a configuration resembling an air mattress. The exposed area of each cell was 2.45E-3 sq m. The cells were mounted on the back of the high gain antenna dish. For a description of the experiment see Humes, D. H. et al., 1974, J. Geophys. Res., v. 79, pp. 3677-3684. This instrument was turned off in October 1980.

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)

Disciplines

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

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. John F. Cooper.

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Robert L. O'NealOther InvestigatorNASA Langley Research Center 
Dr. William H. KinardPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Langley Research Centerw.h.kinard@larc.nasa.gov
Mr. Donald H. HumesOther InvestigatorNASA Langley Research Centerd.h.humes@larc.nasa.gov
Mr. Jose M. AlvarezOther InvestigatorNASA Langley Research Center 
Mr. Richard E. TurnerOther InvestigatorNASA Langley Research Center 
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