Launched by NASA on March 2, 1972 Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to traverse the asteroid belt beyond Mars and then the first to visit Jupiter. After its encounter with the gas giant Pioneer crossed the orbit of Saturn in 1976 and several years later that of Uranus.

Then, on June 13, 1983 Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system. No data has been received from the spacecraft since 2003 but its still there moving steadily outward toward the constellation Taurus where it is expected to arrive in about 2,000,000 years.

The little spaceship that could (left) and its slightly naughty informational plaque ("We're here. We're naked. Let's talk.")