NASA Makes Historic Pluto Flyby
We may never look at Pluto the same way again.
The Human Race made a little history just moments ago.
Never before have we been this close to Pluto.
If all went as planned, the dwarf planet got a fleeting but
ardent visit early Tuesday from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.
At 7:49 a.m. ET this morning, the ship whizzed by Pluto's
piebald face at a distance of less than 8,000 miles.
We won't know for sure how things went for at
least another 12 hours in part because it takes the ship's radio
signals nearly 4½ hours to travel the 3 billion miles back to
Mission Control. The other 7½ hours is needed to process
and analyze all of the information that New Horizons was
The picture of Pluto above is the last and
most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before Tuesday's
moment of closest approach. New pictures of the flyby are
expected this evening.
Scientists and other guests at Mission
Control began a count down in unison to the moment of flyby,
chanting, "Nine! Eight! Seven!" When zero hit, a
huge roar rose from the members of the crowd as they waved small
The Pluto project is located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University Applied
Physics Laboratory, which oversees the $720 million
mission for NASA.
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