NASA’s New Horizons probe is about to make history today and thrill science and space nerds around the world! The piano-sized space probe began it’s flight nearly 10 years ago on it’s way to map the icy world and check out it’s 5 moons.
It’s the first mission of it’s kind, and is also carrying the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh who discovered Pluto 85 years ago. His work and study of Pluto included 1000’s of hours pouring over millions of images. The probe also makes the United States the only country in the world to send a space probe to every planet from Mercury to Pluto.
As New Horizons passes by Pluton throughout the day today, it will be gathering Pluto1data and won’t “phone home” until around 9pm our time tonight. Then, it takes approximately 4 hours for the data to travel through space back to Earth where the scientists will begin to analyze and process the data. The first pictures to be released to the public are expected to be up and on-line by around 3:00 tomorrow afternoon if all goes according to plan. Scientists now can only wait and hope everything functions the way it was supposed too.