Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pluto probe is alive and healthy

New Horizons is alive and on its way to the inner Kuiper belt, according to NASA. The spacecraft sent back a signal at 8:53PM ET, confirming a successful completion of its flyby of Pluto. The news was announced in front of a packed house at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the location of New Horizons mission control. "We're in lock with telemetry with the spacecraft," Alice Bowman, the mission's operations manager, said from the control room.

The signal was a tiny packet of data — no images or scientific measurements were included. That’s because New Horizons can’t talk to Earth and make observations at the same time. "Any second transmitting information to Earth is a second looking away from Pluto," said Kimberly Ennico...

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