NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is on an edge of creating history by commencing its first ever encounter with Pluto, a historical event that has never been done before. The spacecraft is entering into a one of several phases to explore the dwarf planet, which is scheduled to take first close-up shot on July 14th this year.
To explore the planet, which is located 7.5 billion kilometers from Earth, spacecraft started its journey in January 2006. Soon after leaving the Earth’s the atmosphere the spacecraft went into hibernation period and was woken up last month after a voyage of more than 3 billion miles. The spacecraft is soon going to enter in the orbits of five moons of Pluto.
Although the probe is travelling since past nine years, one-third of the distance is yet to travel. At the time of its launch, the shuttle was apparently the fastest moving spacecraft tops a speed of 43,000 kilometers or 27,000 miles an hour.
New Horizon’s telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) will capture images of Pluto and its moon that will give a better understanding of dynamics of the planet and its moon’s behaviour. Moreover, the pictures obtained would play a fundamental role in giving spacecraft the directions while travelling through the remaining one-third distance. The spacecraft will start sending images from 25 January.
Scientists from NASA said that the captured pictures will strengthen their understanding of Pluto’s movement. Above all, the probe will also explore the region, known as Kulper Belt, consisting of Pluto and other small planets, a region that has not been explored much in the past. After completing the mission of exploring Pluto, the spacecraft will continue to study and find new icy planets existing in the Kulper Belt, a region that is believed to exist nearly one billion miles beyond the Pluto.