New Horizons flyby of Pluto

After 9 years travelling from Earth, the New Horizons space probe has successfully slipped around Pluto, the dwarf planet at the outer rim of our Solar System.

You might think that we know most of what there is to know about our own system. We have after all, found planets, and possible habitable worlds elsewhere in our own galaxy.

That wasn’t the case though, and Pluto has remained something of an enigma, with only fuzzy images of a distant speck, even it’s size wasn’t accurately known.

The New Horizons probe did a complicated set of preset manoeuvres, after travelling for 9 years at speeds of around 33,000 kph, sling-shotting around Saturn, it had a 90 second window to be in a specific, small region of space to slip into Pluto’s gravity well for course corrections.

It is going to take weeks for all the data to be streamed back to Earth, but right now, scientists are jubilant that it made it around Pluto and is sending the initial data.

Click here for more info from the NASA site.

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