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astronautix.com Pioneer P 3


Class: Planetary. Type: Lunar. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA(Pioneer).

The least successful lunar spacecraft; none even achieved orbit in four attempts.


Specification

Total Mass: 172 kg.


Pioneer P 3 Chronology


26 November 1959 Pioneer (P 3) Program: Pioneer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able. FAILURE: Payload shroud failed after 45 sec, broke away prematurely. Mass: 168 kg.

An intended lunar probe launched from the Atlantic Missile Range by an Atlas-Able booster disintegrated about 45 seconds later when the protective sheath covering the payload detached prematurely. The probe was sponsored by NASA, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and launched by the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division.


15 February 1960 Pioneer (P 31) Program: Pioneer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able. FAILURE: Vehicle exploded in static firing.
25 September 1960 Pioneer (P 30) Program: Pioneer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able. FAILURE: Second stage exploded. Mass: 175 kg.

An attempt to launch a Pioneer satellite into lunar orbit failed when one of the upper stages of the Atlas- Able rocket malfunctioned.


15 December 1960 Pioneer (P 31) Program: Pioneer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able. FAILURE: Atlas exploded 70 seconds after liftoff. Mass: 175 kg.

The final launch in the Pioneer lunar probe program was unsuccessful; the Atlas-Able booster rocket went out of control and exploded at an altitude of 12,200 m off Cape Canaveral.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .