Pioneer 4


Spacecraft n: 36

USA satellite n: 28

9th to the Moon

Launch data:

Designation 00113 / 1959 Nu 1 / 59004A
Launch date 03 Mars 1959 - 05:10:45 UT
Launch site CC, LC-5
Launch vehicle Juno II (AM-14)
Mission Lunar flyby
Heliocentric orbit (Solar orbit)
Perihelion x Aphelion 0,987 x 1,142 A.U.
Incl. to ecliptic 1,3
Excentricity 0.07109
Period (around the Sun) 398 days

Pioneer 4 - Credit: NASA.

Successful lunar flyby.
Pioneer 4 was the first American spacecraft to escape Earth's gravitation as it passed within 58,983 km (36,650 miles) of the Moon. The spacecraft did return data on the Moon radiation environment, although the desire to be the first man-made vehicle to fly past the moon was lost when the Soviet Union's Luna 1 passed by the Moon several weeks before Pioneer 4.

Spacecraft data:

Prime contractor  Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Operator  NASA
Mass at launch 5,9 kg
Dry Mass   kg
Dimension 0,56 dia - 0,51 long
Basic shape cone
Solar array  none
Stabilization  Spin stabilized
DC power  

Installing Pioneer IV, payload for AM-14 (Juno II) onto the fourth stage on the cluster before a spin test, February 16, 1959. The Pioneer IV, lunar and planetary exploration satellite, was the first U.S. satellite to orbit the Sun. - Credit: NASA


Mission details:

Ref.: #6r, #28(1966), #98 - update: 31.08.11 Home