Pioneer 10, the first mission to be sent to the outer solar system, is launched on March 2 by an Atlas-Centaur rocket. The spacecraft makes its closest approach to Jupiter on December 3, 1973, after which it is on an escape trajectory from the Solar System. NASA launches Pioneer 11 on April 5, 1973, and in December 1974 the spacecraft gives scientists their closest view of Jupiter, from 26,600 miles above the cloud tops. Five years later Pioneer 11 makes its closest approach to Saturn, sending back images of the planet’s rings, and then heads out of the solar system in the opposite direction from Pioneer 10. The last successful data acquisitions from Pioneer 10 occur on March 3, 2002, the 30th anniversary of its launch date, and on April 27, 2002. Its signal is last detected on January 23, 2003, after an uplink is transmitted to turn off the last operational experiment.