Pluto Spacecraft Wakes Up For An Exciting Close Encounter Next Year

Artist's conception of the New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

Artist’s conception of the New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

Pluto, humanity is getting ready to change your image. The New Horizons spacecraft is awake once more after emerging from hibernation as planned yesterday (Dec. 6). And after a decade of sailing through space, there will be a historic first encounter with the dwarf planet in July.

The story may not end there, either. Mission managers are working hard to make the case that since New Horizons is way “out there” anyway, it would be a great idea to put the spacecraft past another object later in the mission. That hope rides heavily on the success of the Pluto encounter July 14.

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Read the rest of Pluto Spacecraft Wakes Up For An Exciting Close Encounter Next Year (438 words)


© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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