Sunday, July 25, 2010

"New Horizons" Space Probe to Explore Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Astronomers have more of a sense of humor than any other kind of scientist I know. Take for instance, the "New Horizons" space probe, which in five years will reach Pluto, the first manmade object to study the only truly unexplored region of the solar system, not to mention the Kuiper Belt, the distant and massive asteroid belt beyond Neptune where Pluto and at least several other dwarf planets of its type reside...including several that are much larger. By July, 2015, the probe will reach Pluto.

Not only was the space probe named after a Moody Blues song, the telescope and multispectral imager is named "Ralph," and the ultraviolet image spectrometer is named "Alice." What's even more amazing is that the Dust Counter used by the New Horizons was designed and built by graduate students...who I am colossally envious of to the point of murderous rage.

Words can't express my excitement at this visit to the only unexplored world in the solar system. THE HUMAN ADVENTURE IS ONLY BEGINNING. The only down side is they can't make a flyby past Eris, the recently discovered Trans-Neptunian Object...which is, in many ways, like Pluto's cooler sister. Amazingly, the probe will even leave our Solar System in 2029!


  1. new horizins is asome!!!!

  2. if this is nasa when i grow up i might build the moon base