Basic Astronomy

New Horizons space craft at Pluto

Pluto
(Credits: NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI)

So far the best picture of Pluto looked like just a dot and human are planning for long time to send a probe close to Pluto to see it closely. Now it is time for end of long wait. Yes, now we can see Pluto closely. New Horizons spacecraft of NASA is scheduled to arrive within 7,750 miles of Pluto on 14th July 2015 after a nine and a half year journey.

The space craft was launched on 19th Jan, 2006. New Horizons will be the first spacecraft to visit Pluto. The spacecraft will give us our first close-up views of Pluto and its five moons. After passing Pluto, the spacecraft will continue on to the Kuiper belt to examine some of the other icy bodies at the edge of the Solar System.

Pluto is the farthest destination for any space probe in history. If everything goes as planed, it will be a huge technological achievement. New Horizons took nine years to cover the 3 billion mile trip to Pluto - which means it's presently using decade-old technology, traveling a route that was calculated years ago. Since New Horizons is traveling at such a high speed (about 31,000 miles per hour) and can't slow down, the Pluto flyby will be over within few minutes.







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