Tags: pluto | new horizons | probe | complete | flyby

Pluto: New Horizons NASA Spacecraft Completes Historic Flyby

Image: Pluto: New Horizons NASA Spacecraft Completes Historic Flyby
(NASA/APL/SwRI via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 09:08 AM

NASA's New Horizons space probe flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EST on Tuesday, completing its primary objective roughly 3 billion miles from Earth.

NASA first broke the news on Twitter, confirming in real time the historic achievement.





"We have completed the initial reconnaissance of the Solar System, an endeavor started under President Kennedy more than 50 years ago and continuing to today under President Obama," said the mission's chief scientist Alan Stern.

"It's really historic what the U.S. has done, and the New Horizons team is really proud to have been able to run that anchor leg and make this accomplishment."

New Horizons, helmed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, was launched in 2006. The craft, about the size of a grand piano, is traveling roughly 30,000 miles per hour, and will now make its way into the icy Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto, and eventually into interstellar space.

In the following weeks, the probe will transmit back to Earth valuable pictures and measurements of Pluto's surface — now confirmed to be red — as well as atmosphere, geomagnetic field, and more.

"The fact is that we will be downloading this information for more than a year," said U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who championed the $728 million mission during its conception, NBC News reported. "We will be analyzing it for a generation."


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NASA's New Horizons space probe flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EST on Tuesday, completing its primary objective roughly 3 billion miles from Earth.
pluto, new horizons, probe, complete, flyby
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2015-08-14
Tuesday, 14 Jul 2015 09:08 AM
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