…and will not post for nine years. Actually it’s just my name that is on it’s way to Pluto. See for yourself. The New horisons website has all the info you want (and more) about the mission. In short:
Our solar system contains three zones: the inner, rocky planets; the gas giant planets; and the Kuiper Belt. Pluto is the largest body of the icy, “third zone” of our solar system. The National Academy of Sciences placed the exploration of the third zone in general – and Pluto-Charon in particular – among its highest priority planetary mission rankings for this decade. New Horizons is NASA’s mission to fulfill this objective.”
(From the “Why go to Pluto” page)
The FAQ gives answers to a couple of cool questions, like “Why not go into orbit around Pluto?”
“Pluto’s gravity is weak so that it takes a large amount of fuel to go into orbit around the planet- and with New Horizons expected to zip past Pluto at nearly 14 kilometers per second (more than 30,000 miles per hour), there is no practical way to store the tremendous amount of fuel the spacecraft would need to slow down enough to begin an orbit mission. A flyby mission provides many images and other kinds of information about Pluto and Charon, as well as an opportunity to fly on to another Kuiper Belt Object.”
The spacecraft will reach Pluto in 2015, and launches (if the weather and all the instruments are ok) tomorrow. So the next nine years a CD with my name on it will be flying through space. Cool.
If you’re on the CD too, put your certificate on Flickr. And tag it “newhorizonscertificate”…blog comments powered by Disqus