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So Long, Pioneer
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We've finally lost contact with the Pioneer 10 spacecraft:

Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to venture out of the solar system, has fallen silent after traveling billions of miles from Earth on a mission that has lasted nearly 31 years, NASA said Tuesday.

What was apparently the spacecraft's last signal was received Jan. 22 by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network. At the time, Pioneer 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth; the signal, traveling at the speed of light, took 11 hours and 20 minutes to arrive.

That's well outside of our solar system, headed for Aldebaran, 2 million years away.

If anyone or anything intercepts it, they'll find a gold engraved plaque with directions, pictures of humans, and a friendly message.

Let's hope if anyone answers the invitation that we're better behaved than we are right now.

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