The New Horizons spacecraft passed the orbit of Neptune: Pluto is getting closer
Materials have been published on Habré several times about the New Horizons space station, which is gradually approaching its goal: Pluto, once called a planet.
The station was launched eight years ago, on January 19, 2006, and now the device is gradually approaching Pluto at a speed of about 15 kilometers per second. In addition to Pluto, New Horizons will have to examine other celestial bodies in this space region.
Around the middle of July this year, the operators corrected the speed of the device, thanks to which we can now talk about the exact date of the station’s arrival at Pluto: this will happen on July 15, 2015. It is then that the station will pass at a distance of 12.5 thousand kilometers from the surface of the planetoid.
It may well be that another speed correction will be carried out next year. Scientists believe that the new correction will avoid a collision with the possible neighbors of Pluto in this area - small objects that are still impossible to see.
It is planned that while approaching Pluto, the cameras of the device will be able to conduct a detailed survey of Pluto and Charon, the satellite of Pluto, with details from 1 to 40 kilometers, as well as other work, including compiling a temperature map of the surface and studying the atmosphere of Pluto and Charon. The likely volume transferred from the "New Horizons" will be about 5 GB.
After Pluto, the station will go to pre-selected objects in the Kuiper belt. So far, scientists have not decided exactly whether the New Horizons will investigate one or more objects in this region.
A few days later, on August 29, New Horizons will go into sleep mode, with the goal of maximizing fuel and energy savings. The device will wake up in the winter of 2015.
The current location of the device can be found here .