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The Pioneer 10 spacecraft passed the planet Jupiter on December 12, 1973, and exited the solar system on June 14, 1983. The craft traveled from Mars to Jupiter, a distance of approximately 1 billion kilometers, in one year and nine months.
a.Calculate the approximate speed of the craft in kilometers per second.
b.Assuming a constant speed, approximately how many kilometers did Pioneer 10 travel between the time it passed Jupiter and the time it left the solar system?

  • Math -

    a)In one year, there is 31 536 000 seconds. The total trip took 641 days, 365(1year)+276(March12-December12,9months). 641 days is equal to 55 382 400 seconds. 1billion kilometers/55 382 400seconds=18.056km/s

    Therefore the spacecraft was traveling at 18.056km/s.

    b)The total amount of days between December 12, 1973 and June 14, 1983 is (including leap days) 3466. 3466 days is equal to 299 462 400 seconds. 18.056km/s*299 462 400s=5 407 093 094km.

    Therefore Pioneer 10 traveled 5 407 093 094km from Jupiter to leave the solar system

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