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Space & Astronomy

New Horizons spacecraft is half way to Pluto

November 22, 2009 | Comment icon 11 comments



Image Credit: NASA
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft launched in 2006 and has since been travelling towards Pluto, a historic 3-billion-mile, 10-year journey to the small icy world on the edge of the Solar System.
An epic 10-year, 3-billion-mile journey from Cape Canaveral to the rim of the solar system is almost halfway complete, and in 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will allow us to lay eyes directly on the mysterious, beloved Pluto for the first time.


Source: Wired | Comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Xammu 13 years ago
I've been having a recurring thought about this. Are they actually going to land something on the surface like they did on Titan?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 13 years ago
I just cant wait for the results....probably they should examine the cold soil because it is one way of natural preservation and that if some kind if life existed there The surface isn't soil, it's water so call it is as hard as rock. It also is covered in frozen methane (natural gas on Earth, even at Titan it's still a liquid). Pluto was formed out on the edge of the solar system, it's always been extremely cold, it is almost certain that life could not have arisen there. What there maybe ar organic molcules similar to those found on comets. I've been having a recurring thought about this. Ar... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by behaviour??? 13 years ago
The surface isn't soil, it's water so call it is as hard as rock. It also is covered in frozen methane (natural gas on Earth, even at Titan it's still a liquid). Pluto was formed out on the edge of the solar system, it's always been extremely cold, it is almost certain that life could not have arisen there. What there maybe ar organic molcules similar to those found on comets. Atleast that can help... Thanks B???
Comment icon #5 Posted by ShaunZero 13 years ago
30 billion miles in 10 years? How fast is that thing going? EDIT: 3 billion. I was going to say holy hell. How fast is it going anyway, because 3 billion miles is mighty fast to travel in 10 years. There are about 87,600 hours in 10 years. If you are going even 500 miles per hour, that's 500*87600 = 43,800,000 miles traveled. Is something flying right over my head here because I feel like there is.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Coffin Jim 13 years ago
3 billion. I was going to say holy hell. How fast is it going anyway, because 3 billion miles is mighty fast to travel in 10 years. There are about 87,600 hours in 10 years. If you are going even 500 miles per hour, that's 500*87600 = 43,800,000 miles traveled. Is something flying right over my head here because I feel like there is. Using the numbers you gave, the average velocity for the trip would very roughly be 34,246 miles per hour. The craft had to be traveling at least 25,038 mph to escape Earth's gravitational pull and it got a boost from Jupiter, so that figure seems about right. (To... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by thefinalfrontier 13 years ago
I have followed this mission with great anticipation because when i was a child i used to dream of standing on its surface and exploring, As I grew older I realised that this was impossible and gave up on ever seeing the surface of pluto, Its ironic that after all those years ago we now have a craft going there to map and return images, Personally i am very exited about this mission GO NASA,
Comment icon #8 Posted by ShaunZero 13 years ago
Using the numbers you gave, the average velocity for the trip would very roughly be 34,246 miles per hour. The craft had to be traveling at least 25,038 mph to escape Earth's gravitational pull and it got a boost from Jupiter, so that figure seems about right. (To me, anyway. My math might be way off.) Regardless of the speed, though, I think the prospect of seeing photographs of Pluto's surface for the first time is exciting. Sure is, I can't wait. And the reason why I mentioned it's speed was because I'd forgotten how fast an object can fly through space. And actually, I don't really know HO... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by PotterManiac 13 years ago
Go NASA Go! So its not landing huh? I cant wait for the results they get from a flyby mission. Thanks PotterManiac
Comment icon #10 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
I just cant wait for the results....probably they should examine the cold soil because it is one way of natural preservation and that if some kind if life existed there Thanks B??? too bad it's a fly by
Comment icon #11 Posted by ROGER 13 years ago
too bad it's a fly by oh, not really. We have trouble seeing that area of space so New Horizon may find many more large bodies out beyond. In a hounded years or so, refuel stations and mining operations. Optimistic am I not!


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