Friday, July 29, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Pluto debris poses risk to New Horizons


Posted on Wednesday, 24 October, 2012 | Comment icon 11 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
Dangerous debris orbiting around Pluto could prove a hazard to NASA's approaching New Horizons probe.

Soon to be the first spacecraft to ever visit Pluto, New Horizons is now 7 years in to it's 9 and-a-half year voyage to the outer solar system and is expected to arrive at the beginning of 2015. What scientists didn't know at the time of launch however is that Pluto appears to be harboring large quantities of dangerous debris that could prove disastrous in the event of a collision.

To combat this new threat, scientists are using every resource at their disposal to detect debris around Pluto and to plot a course for the spacecraft that will allow it to carry out its mission but with as small a risk as possible of it being hit by something. "Because our spacecraft is traveling so fast - more than 30,000 miles per hour - a collision with a single pebble, or even a millimeter-sized grain, could cripple or destroy New Horizons," said Scientist Hal Weaver.

"As New Horizons has traveled through space, its science team has become increasingly aware of the possibility that dangerous debris may be orbiting in the Pluto system, putting the spacecraft and its exploration objectives into harm’s way."

  View: Full article |  Source: jhuapl.edu

  Discuss: View comments (11)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by highdesert50 on 24 October, 2012, 15:02
Karmatic retribution for being recategorized as a dwarf planet.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 24 October, 2012, 15:49
Well, I quess at least they detected this potential threat before it was too late for the spacecraft.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hazzard on 24 October, 2012, 16:13
I have been waiting for this one ever sense they launched it. Would suck if it got destroyed before we got a good look at Pluto.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 24 October, 2012, 16:30
Yeah, hopefully whatever adjusted pass-by they decide on to avoid dangerous debris will still enable imaging studies(visual, spectrum, radar) of enough resolution to gain further insight into Pluto and it's moons/space environment.
Comment icon #6 Posted by kcuhC on 24 October, 2012, 18:48
Oh, hey, cool...I had forgotten we still had a little piece of a space program left. Soon as word gets out, we'll shut that down too.
Comment icon #7 Posted by sergeantflynn on 24 October, 2012, 19:27
All that space junk will be from the inhabitants of Pluto . We`ll feel quite at home when we get there .
Comment icon #8 Posted by Taun on 24 October, 2012, 20:25
I have faith that the 'bulging forehead' type guys and gals on this mission will get this sorted out in time... While it might sound quite crowded - and probably is on a system wide scale... on the human scale I'm sure there is plenty of room... A friend of mine was convinced that we would never be able to get a probe past the asteroid belt (despite both Voyagers making it easily) because she though the belt was as insanely crowded as they are shown in sci-fi movies... Like Hazzard said - I've been eagerly awaiting this probe to make it to Pluto... It's always been one of my favorite planets -... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by sergeantflynn on 24 October, 2012, 20:54
I remember staying behind after school to do Astronomy . Early 1960`s . My stance now is the same as then . Pluto is too far away to lend it brainroom . Far too many problems here to sort out . But there again , if the unwashed and starving don`t mind why should I ? And , no , my head has never been buried in the sand . NURSE............!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Taun on 24 October, 2012, 21:06
I remember staying behind after school to do Astronomy . Early 1960`s . My stance now is the same as then . Pluto is too far away to lend it brainroom . Far too many problems here to sort out . But there again , if the unwashed and starving don`t mind why should I ? And , no , my head has never been buried in the sand . NURSE............! I can kind of understand where you're coming from on this but, if humans didn't look beyond our problems "Here" until there were no problems "Here", we never would have evolved from the primordial sludge...
Comment icon #11 Posted by sergeantflynn on 24 October, 2012, 21:32
But we are still in the sludge . Of course , it`s in a different form now . Today`s technology on earth has spread the sludge over a wider area hence giving the impression that it is shallower than before . Far better to be up to your knees than your neck . I pity my grandchildren and yours . Appreciate your reply . Kind regards .


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5733228
260068
161476

 
Apollo astronauts at risk of heart problems
7-29-2016
The astronauts who walked on the moon are up to five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
Man has spent 25 years searching for Nessie
7-28-2016
It has now been 25 years since Steve Feltham dedicated his life to hunting down the Loch Ness Monster.
Mysterious purple sphere found on sea floor
7-28-2016
A remote-operated deep-sea exploration vehicle has discovered a peculiar purple orb underneath a rock.
Philae mission officially comes to a close
7-27-2016
After a year without communication, scientists have finally said goodbye to Philae for the last time.
Other news in this category
Apollo astronauts at risk of heart problems
Posted 7-29-2016 | 2 comments
The astronauts who walked on the moon are up to five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease....
 
Philae mission officially comes to a close
Posted 7-27-2016 | 5 comments
After a year without communication, scientists have finally said goodbye to Philae for the last time....
 
Mystery surrounds missing craters on Ceres
Posted 7-26-2016 | 2 comments
Scientists have been attempting to determine why the dwarf planet Ceres has no large craters at all....
 
NASA to digitize data from Viking landers
Posted 7-25-2016 | 5 comments
The data recorded during the historic Viking Mars missions is set to be archived in digital form....
 
What made the Man in the Moon's right eye ?
Posted 7-23-2016 | 2 comments
Researchers in the US have been able to determine the origins of one of the moon's largest craters....
 
Excitement mounts over Earth-like exoplanets
Posted 7-20-2016 | 10 comments
Scientists have identified two distant worlds which could be ideal places to look for alien life....
 
NASA is working on next-gen Mars orbiters
Posted 7-19-2016 | 5 comments
The space agency is looking to develop orbiters that could help to support a future manned mission....
 
SpaceX rocket lands after space station trip
Posted 7-18-2016 | 5 comments
The private space firm has again demonstrated the viability of reusable rockets for routine missions....
 
New video imagines touching down on Pluto
Posted 7-17-2016 | 8 comments
NASA is celebrating the success of its New Horizons spacecraft by showcasing a new sequence of images....
 
'Morse code' pattern covers sand dune on Mars
Posted 7-12-2016 | 13 comments
A peculiar landscape of dots and dashes has been picked up by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter....
 
New dwarf planet discovered beyond Neptune
Posted 7-12-2016 | 5 comments
Astronomers have identified a previously unknown dwarf planet in the outer reaches of the solar system....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ