New Horizons Mission

New Horizons Mission

New horizons Pluto.jpg

The last post on this mini series on Pluto's moons is a brief description of NASA's New Horizons mission. This spacecraft is due to flyby Pluto and its moons in 2015. It will have taken the spacecraft just over 9 years to reach Pluto. When New Horizons started its mission Pluto was still a planet. The mission is expected to have cost about 650 million US dollars by the time it finishes.

What is New Horizons Going to Find?

The mission's main aim is to look at the surface, rocks and chemicals that make up Pluto and Charon. Pluto's atmosphere will be examined and Charon will be tested to see if it has an atmosphere.

After flying past Pluto and its moons it is hoped that the craft will continue on to other Kuiper belt objects.

The Spacecraft still has a fair distance to travel to reach its destination but already it is so far away the light from the Sun takes over 3 hours to reach it. And that is at a speed of about 30,000 miles per hour. The video below is from NASA from 2010 and shows a review of the mission to date and a preview of what we might see in the near future. Enjoy!

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