New Horizons Returns First Images of Pluto

The New Horizons probe (after being launched in 2006) is finally approaching Pluto with an arrival on July 14, 2015. It has been traveling since two years before my son Henry was born. This is a very important event, since with the recent Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt, we are now effectively concluding our initial exploration of our solar system with robotic craft. With the exception of the Pioneer 1 launch in 1960, Mariner 4 to Mars in 1964, and several Ranger missions to the Moon (as well as numerous failed missions), this initial phase of exploration covered my entire lifetime with one of my first memories being the 1969 Moon landing. No one in the future will ever be able to experience the excitement of exploring our solar system in quite the same way again. It is like living through Columbus and Magellan!

NASA New Horizons Mission
Article on CNET

Photo of Pluto

The New Horizons probe took these two images on January 25 and 27, 2015 at a distance of 203 and 200.5 million kilometers.

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