The radio-metric Doppler tracking data from the Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft, from between 20-70 AU, yields an unambiguous and independently confirmed anomalous blue shift drift of a_t = (2.92 \pm 0.44)\times 10^{-18} s/s^2. It can be interpreted as being due to a constant acceleration of a_P = (8.74 \pm 1.33) \times 10^{-8} cm/s^2 directed towards the Sun. No systematic effect has been able to explain the anomaly, even though such an origin is an obvious candidate. We discuss what has been learned (and what might still be learned) from the data about the anomaly, its origin, and the mission design characteristics that would be needed to test it. Future mission options are proposed. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas.)

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



"The Pioneer Anomaly: The Data, its Meaning, and a Future Test," Proceedings of the 2nd Mexican Meeting on Mathematical and Experimental Physics. Held in Mexico City, Mexico: 6-10 September 2004. AND Also archived at: arXiv:gr-qc/0411077 v2 22 Nov 2004 M.M.N. thanks Alfredo Macías and Claus Lämmerzahl for their kind hospitality and acknowledges support by the U.S. DOE. The work of S.G.T and J.D.A. was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ISBN: 0-7354-0293-0Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


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