HYDERABAD: We reached the moon and not very long after we reached the Mars. After covering the string of planets and after almost a decade of hardwork, we made it to the baby of the solar system.
7.5 billion km away from our home planet, the spacecraft New Horizons already flew by the icy cold planet, Pluto. The spacecraft was launched on January 19, 2006 as an interplanetary probe and the exploration process began right after it was discovered in the year 1930. Scientists at NASA suggest that there is a possibility of activity on the surface of the planet.
Did you know?
New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft. It took nine hours to cover the distance from earth to the moon, which Apollo (spacecraft that went to the moon), took three days. It travelled four billion eight hundred twenty-eight million thirty-two thousand km in nine-and-a-half years
Along with its duty to reach the planet and send information about back to Earth, New Horizons is also carrying a small amount of ashes of the person who discovered it, Clyde Tombaugh, an American astronomer. He passed away in the year 1997. It is also carrying a CD that has names of 434,000 people who wanted their names sent to Pluto.
The spacecraft will also bring under its antenna all the five moons of Pluto – Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. It does not stop with the planet. It has enough power and hence will go one billion six hundred nine million three hundred forty-four thousand km.
Those who wish to keep a tab on the journey of New Horizons, real time, can download the Eyes on Pluto application on their Mac or PC.