Thursday 16 July 2015

New Horizons spacecraft survives encounter with Pluto

A signal received from the New Horizons spacecraft shows that it survived its historic
encounter with Pluto.

Data in its first call home since Tuesday's flyby suggest the spacecraft experienced no upsets
as it hurtled past the icy world at 14km/s (31,000mph).

The signal came through a giant dish in Madrid, Spain - part of a Nasa network of
communications antennas.

The message took four hours 25 minutes to traverse 4.7 billion km of space.

Pluto has mountains made of ice that are as high as those in the Rockies, images from the New Horizons probe reveal.They also show signs of geological activity on Pluto and its moon Charon

Mission scientist John Spencer told journalists that the first close-up image of Pluto's surface showed a terrain that had been resurfaced by some geological process - such as volcanism - within the last 100 million years.

"We have not found a single impact crater on this image. This means it must be a very young surface," he said.

A true explorer - now set to wander the Galaxy for a long time to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment