NASA’s New Horizons
Finally, NASA’s New Horizons has reached Pluto after covering a distance of 3 billion miles. It took nine and half years for the New Horizon to complete its journey. A signal was received from the New Horizons spacecraft through a giant dish in Madrid, Spain- part of a NASA network of communications antennas. The time taken by the signal to complete the distance of 4.7 billion km took about 4 hours and 25 minutes.
Alan Stern New Horizons lead scientist said that this is clearly a world where both geology and atmosphere climatology play a role. He also said that it appears that there is a snowfall of nitrogen and methane. After achieving this success US President Barack Obama tweeted from the POTUS account that Pluto just had its first visitor. Moreover, he also thanked NASA for this great day of discovery and showing American leadership. Apart from Barack Obama Democrat Presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also tweeted on the Pluto Flyby. She said that NASA’s New Horizons had travelled a distance of 3miles in nine years to forge a new frontier. She also added that we should keep exploring. Apart from these two many other people also congratulated NASA. Stephen Hawking, a British cosmologist in his message broadcast on NASA TV said that now the solar system is open up to us.
The series of events which took place are: – The Satellite was launched on January 19, 2006. It reached Jupiter in February 2007, Saturn in June 2008, Uranus in March 2011, Neptune in August 2014 and finally Pluto on July 2015.New Horizon helped to get the information of the diameter of Pluto and it was found that it was about 2370km which was slightly larger than any other prior estimates. Apart from the size of the dwarf planet, it would also study about the five moons of the planet which are: – Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra. There were only engineering data which was designed to tell controllers whether the flyby sequence had been carried out properly. In order to transmit back all the images and measurements taken during its pass by Pluto it would take about 16 months for the New Horizons to accomplish this task. According to the guardian.com New Horizons is expected to continue its mission into the Kuiper belt where the Pluto lies in a region of space at the edge of the solar system.
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After writing this success story NASA proved that we should keep on trying and try to discover more and more things. Also, as said by Stephen Hawking that this solar system is open to us which means there is no ending in this space and we will come across many new things in the future as we move forward in our research work. All these achievements shows the hardwork of the NASA’s scientists and now it is a time for them to celebrate their success.
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