9/1 1979 – The U.S. Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to visit Saturn

Saturn during Equinox.jpgSeptember 1, 1979 – The American Pioneer Eleven passes the planet Saturn, becoming the first spacecraft to visit the ringed planet, albeit at a distance of 21,000 kilometers.

On this date twenty years ago, September 1, 1979, the robotic probe Pioneer 11 made the first flyby of the planet Saturn, thanks to an impressive gravity boost from its encounter with Jupiter in late 1974.

Though its images would not match in quality with the ones taken by Voyager 1 and 2 in the next two years, Pioneer 11 was a true pathfinder for those more sophisticated explorers and all other space vessels to follow.

To quote from the main Pioneer Web site:

“Pioneer 11 flew within 13,000 miles of Saturn and took the first close-up pictures of the planet. Instruments located two previously undiscovered small moons and an additional ring, charted Saturn’s magnetosphere and magnetic field, and found its planet-size moon, Titan, to be too cold for life. Hurtling underneath the ring plane, Pioneer 11 sent back amazing pictures of Saturn’s rings. The rings, which normally seem bright when observed from Earth, appeared dark in the Pioneer pictures, and the dark gaps in the rings seen from Earth appeared as bright rings.”


Grants ~ Centers of Excellence at 1890 Institutions (1890 COEs) Small Business Innovation Research Program – Phase I


The intent of the 1890 COEs Program is to provide support for Centers of Excellence that was originally established in 2015 in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The 1890 COEs are hosted by 1890 Land-Grant Institutions with the goals of 1) increasing profitability and rural prosperity in underserved farming communities; 2) addressing critical needs for enhanced international training and development; and 3) increasing diversity in the science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline. use the link below to apply