On Tuesday, NASA’s New Horizons probe made the first ever flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto, creating images that will be remembered throughout history! Yesterday they released this video showing the fascinating detailed images of the planet’s surface, covered in icy mountains the size of the Rockies. NASA were stunned to discover that from the image they were exploring, not a single impact crater could be found, which suggests that this particular area is a very young surface, estimated to be less than 100 million years old.
The New Horizons probe has been travelling for a staggering 9 and a half years. Launched in January 2006, it has travelled at record speeds across the solar system, faster than any other space craft to date, reaching speeds of 30,000 miles per hour!
After Pluto, New Horizons will begin exploring some of the objects in the Kuiper belt, which Is full of other dwarf planets and small bodies, eventually entering interstellar Space. The first probe ever in history to do this was Voyager 1, which was launched in 1977 and crossed the boundary into interstellar space recently in 2013. Other probes such as Pioneer 10, launched in 1972 and Pioneer 11 launched in 1973, along with Voyager 2 and New Horizons are all expected to eventually reach the boundary, opening up exciting new discoveries beyond our imaginations.
Whenever a flyby of a planet or moon is done, unexpected things are always discovered. Up until now, Pluto has been nothing but a dot, a few pixels on a screen, but thanks to NASA and the New Horizons probe, we can now see Pluto in all of its stunning glory. This is history in the making!
31 years ago, NASA experienced one of the greatest disasters in the history of the space program. The space shuttle Challenger broke apart just 73 seconds into the flight.The disas...