NASA to send spececraft to Pluto

Jan 16, 2006

NASA is all set to launch its $700-million New Horizons spacecraft from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a nearly nine-year journey to Pluto.

The New Horizons will be the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's first mission to an unexplored planet since 1977 when it is launched on Tuesday -- and will complete NASA's grand tour of all the planets in the solar system.

"This is the capstone of the missions to the planets that NASA has led since the 1960s," said Alan Stern, an astrophysicist with the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, who is the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission.

For planetary scientists, understanding distant Pluto with its unique composition of rock and ice is key to answering questions about how planets formed, and why they formed where they did.

"Pluto is a treasure trove of scientific information waiting to be discovered," said Andrew Dantzler, director of NASA's Solar System Division.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

Related Stories

The pale blue dot and other 'selfies' of Earth

Apr 06, 2015

Twenty-five years ago a set of images were taken that provided a unique view of Earth and helped highlight the fragility of our existence, and the importance of our stewardship.

Recommended for you

Birth of a radio phoenix

56 minutes ago

Abell 1033 is a cluster of over 350 galaxies located about 1.7 billion light-years away. Collisions between galaxies in clusters are common events, and each merger heats and shocks the nearby gas. The rapidly ...

Russian cargo spacecraft hit by glitch: official

56 minutes ago

Russian officials said Tuesday an unmanned Progress spacecraft carrying supplies to the International Space Station had suffered a glitch, after a successful launch earlier in the day.

Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

13 hours ago

No matter how beautiful or crystal clear the bubbling waters of an oasis may be, they seldom lead to technology breakthroughs. Yet, NASA's OASIS investigation's bubbles may lead to an ocean of new improvements ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.