In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, technicians prepare Pioneer F spacecraft for testing in the Space Simulation Chamber at TRW Systems, Redondo Beach, California, on Jan. 25, 1972. The chamber subjects the spacecraft to the heat, cold, vacuum and simulated radiation that it encounters in space.
Pioneer F is the first spacecraft designed to travel into the outer solar system and operate effectively there, for possibly as long as seven years and as far from the sun as 1.5 billion miles. Its primary objective will be to take the first close-up look at the planet Jupiter, its moons and environment.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).