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SCIENTISTS SAY PIONEER WILL BURN NEAR VENUS

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Scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., predicted Monday that the Pioneer spacecraft would burn up on Thursday as it hurtles through the atmosphere of Venus.

Peter Waller, a NASA Ames spokesman in Mountain View, Calif., said the historic spacecraft's main thrusters have run out of fuel and it is descending into the Venusian atmosphere. He said scientists at Ames predict the craft would enter the atmosphere on Wednesday and burn up Thursday.Pioneer, which has been orbiting Venus since 1978, ran out of fuel Oct. 3.