New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto on Tuesday giving mankind an unprecedented look at the planet. If everything goes as planned,
New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the dwarf planet at eight a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday. It will take the best pictures of Pluto and store it its computer memory. New Horizons is the fastest moving spacecraft in the history and will be soon heading out of the solar system.
However, it will until Tuesday night before scientists will know if the images exist or if the New Horizons spacecraft as it hurtles at more than 50000 km/hr.
The spacecraft is moving at an incredible velocity and even a speck, the size of a sand particle can bring doom to the two-meter wide spacecraft.
As the probe flies past Pluto, the last uncharted region of our solar system, it will be a risky endeavor as explained by Alan Stern, principal investigator in a news briefing Monday. The mission is based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.
However, this has not diminished the excitement of scientists who eagerly await the scheduled rendezvous with New Horizons, which will happen at 8:53 p.m. on Tuesday.
The link will be available only for about 15 minutes which is not enough to download any scientific data. Still it will allow scientists to calculate how much data is there in the spacecrafts database.
The spacecraft will then reorient itself and continue to take pictures as it moves away from the dwarf planet towards the vast and endless expanse of space. It will be the last chance for scientists to have a look at the dwarf planet for a very long time to come.
New Horizons will fly closest to the dwarf planet on Monday. Scientist’s meanwhile were busy poring over images of Pluto and its moon Charon which was taken by the spacecraft over the weekend.