Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Horizons Spacecraft

The New Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the goal of flying by Pluto to take the very first close up images of the former planet before continuing on to possibly observe other objects beyond Pluto.  The spacecraft was placed in hibernation for its long journey and just recently awakened from hibernation.  Upon waking up, it snapped a photo of Pluto, seen below.

Doesn't look like much and isn't much better than current images, but New Horizons still has a ways to go.  New Horizons will begin its first flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, so expect images to improve as we get closer and closer to this date.  I have to admit that I'm super excited for these close approach images to arrive.  We've never before seen the surface of Pluto well enough to identify pictures.  It doesn't get more exciting than finally seeing the unknown!

Be sure to show your kids images of Pluto as they come in.  The best source is NASA's New Horizons mission page.  Check it out for more detailed mission info.

NASA's New Horizons Mission

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