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23/8/2019  
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NASA´s New Horizons

NASA makes a historic first-ever flyby of Pluto


The call everyone was waiting for is in. NASA´s New Horizons spacecraft phoned home just before 9 p.m. Tuesday 14th of July 2015 to tell the mission team and the world it had accomplished the historic first-ever flyby of Pluto.
Ibercampus 15/7/2015 Send to a friend
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The preprogrammed “phone call” -- a 15-minute series of status messages beamed back to mission operations at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland through NASA’s Deep Space Network -- ended a very suspenseful 21-hour waiting period. New Horizons had been instructed to spend the day gathering the maximum amount of data, and not communicating with Earth until it was beyond the Pluto system.

Moving faster than any spacecraft ever built at a speed of about 30,800 miles per hour (50,000 kph), the nuclear-powered New Horizons—about the size of a baby grand piano—snapped pictures of Pluto as it hurtled by on auto-pilot.

The photos will reveal details of Pluto never seen before in the history of space traPluto is the first Kuiper Belt object visited by a mission from Earth. New Horizons will continue on its adventure deeper into the Kuiper Belt, where thousands of objects hold frozen clues as to how the solar system formed.
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The spacecraft was a bit closer to Pluto´s surface than initially planned, 7,750 miles—or about the distance from New York to Mumbai, India—and may have been one minute earlier than the 1149 GMT target time, the US space agency said.

New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern described "a moment of celebration," with the promise of a "16-month data waterfall" ahead that will help scientists write whole new textbooks about Pluto.

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