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New Horizons: One Billion Miles From Pluto

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the investigating-a-planetary-imposter dept.

Space 135

astroengine writes "On Feb. 10, NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons probe entered the homestretch of its mission. When you are sprinting across the solar system, 'homestretch' is the final 1 billion miles of your journey. That sounds like quite a long stretch! But the half-ton spacecraft has already logged 2 billion miles since its launch in early 2006. That's twice the distance between Earth and Saturn. Though the icy dwarf planet is still three years away from its close encounter, mission scientists call this the Late Cruise phase of the flight."

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Surprise!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023535)

Elon Musk will already have developped condos there and have PayPal terminals so you can buy Starbucks there!

Re:Surprise!! (-1, Offtopic)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023721)

He's too slow then. YouTwitFace Holdings has already set up FarmVille kiosks (24hrs of unlimited play for 50 Facebook credits!), OLED celebrity tweet billboards (brought to you by Sony), and cute 1-inch-wide plastic Like and follow buttons on every geological feature (all connected via WiFi).

Re:Surprise!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025135)

What do you mean "-1"? Don't you believe in the force of the invisible hand to bend reality and destroy physical limits? Hell, I will retire on the core of Jupiter, none of that pansy "Mars" crap for me! No siree! Once we can build space elevators out of unobtanium, I'll build an underwater, well, underhydrogen, vacation cottage out of handwavium! Haha! Space! It's the future!

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023605)

Pluto? When did it leave Uranus?

Re:Obligatory (5, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023665)

It flew through the orbit of Uranus on March 18, 2011 [wikipedia.org] .

Scientists at NASA reported that it made a "woosh" noise as it did so, despite the vacuum. They then started a petition to rename Uranus to Urectum.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Ramley (1168049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024019)

They then started a petition to rename Uranus to Urectum.

Urectum? I didn't know Uknewum?

Couldn't resist...

Astronomical distances and poetry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023661)

Whenever I see posts like this, it always makes me think about how big the universe really is. Poets have talked about how far away the stars are and planets and the like. They always talked about hundreds or thousands of miles. Then we get to the real size of the universe and BAM! all of that is now wrong. Even modern poets usually talk in terms of "millions" of miles or kilometers to reach the stars and planets. Makes you seem really small when farther than you can even imagine is not far enough.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023689)

Whenever I see posts like this, it always makes me think about how big the universe really is. Poets have talked about how far away the stars are and planets and the like. They always talked about hundreds or thousands of miles. Then we get to the real size of the universe and BAM! all of that is now wrong. Even modern poets usually talk in terms of "millions" of miles or kilometers to reach the stars and planets. Makes you seem really small when farther than you can even imagine is not far enough.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023935)

Whenever I see posts like this, it always makes me think about how big the universe really is. Poets have talked about how far away the stars are and planets and the like. They always talked about hundreds or thousands of miles. Then we get to the real size of the universe and BAM! all of that is now wrong. Even modern poets usually talk in terms of "millions" of miles or kilometers to reach the stars and planets. Makes you seem really small when farther than you can even imagine is not far enough.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

To experience the vastness of the universe can I suggest you enter the Total Perspective Vortex ? ^_^

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024241)

The multiverse outside our universe is infinite because time is infinite, therefore it doesn't have a size.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025779)

Where do you get that from? Last I checked we don't know how large the part of the universe outside the observable universe is. It could be infinite and it could be finite, and we don't have enough data to choose between those hypotheses.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026509)

I heard the visible universe is 13.7billion light years across, and the full universe is finite but boundless (toroidal in 4 dimensions, total number of dimensions unknown) with a 78 billion light year circumference. I think I got that from AstronomyCast and I can't remember how certain that hypothesis was.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Black.Shuck (704538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026649)

Current thinking is that the Universe is flat [wikipedia.org] and we can observe about 46 billion light-years of it [wikipedia.org] in all directions.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028157)

toroidal in 4 dimensions

The first 20 minutes or so of "Thrive" shows the torus configuration in just about everything -- so I think it's really cool that our universe is also toroidal. ("Thrive": $20 on Amazon, or free via Google or your kooky friend.)

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027583)

If time is infinite, then so must the universe, and time must be infinite because time can't start itself.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (4, Interesting)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026475)

Time isn't infinite. When the universe was at minimum entropy, time began. When the universe reaches maximum entropy, time ends.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026613)

The multiverse outside our universe is infinite because time is infinite, therefore it doesn't have a size.

Actually, the latest estimates [wikipedia.org] suggest there are 1e500 different possibilities for a universe - a larger number, but sure not infinite ;)

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024973)

Your description still doesn't explain why I'm drinking something that's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027797)

Is that a leopard guarding your file cabinet?

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023707)

And that's why we invented scientific notation. After all, what's an order of magnitude between friends?

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024117)

Yes, 6.000 light years is a huge amount of space....

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025181)

It's really more of a huge amount of line. Cubic light years, of course, are another story.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (2)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027295)

Oh please, lets keep it simple for the creationists :)

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (0)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024511)

I don't think you understand what an order of magnitude is. It has nothing to do with friendship really. It's more like a mathematical concept.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025329)

Of course I know what an order of magnitude is. It's a secret society of knights that dates back to medieval times, dedicating to raising prime numbers and other common radicals to various exponents. The most famous orders are the Power of Two and the Power of Ten, although some people, mostly retired Russian computer scientists [wikipedia.org] , speak in hushed whispers of the Power of Three (though officially the Power of Three doesn't think they belong, since balanced ternary is quite different from true ternary computing.) The Power of Two used to have two junior orders, the Power of Eight and the Power of Sixteen, but Eight is pretty much defunct these days.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025879)

? You say you have friends with these people? Orders from middle ages? Like a fraternity? What part of the world are you from?

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026743)

Of course I know what an order of magnitude is. It's a secret society of knights that dates back to medieval times, dedicating to raising prime numbers and other common radicals to various exponents.

Yes, and the seal of their order showed ten knights riding one horse, if I remember correctly.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028181)

It's a secret society of knights [...]

Yes, yes I heard that as "k-nig-hts"</nee>, thankyouverymuch</elvis>

You are here (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023907)

Re:You are here (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024125)

Probably sitting in front of my fish tank swatting at the glass.

I worship my cat- she is my goddess and empress of the universe. I admit, the question wasn't aimed at me, and not everyone agrees with my deity of choice.

Re:You are here (4, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024667)

According to my dogs, I'm the god of good treats and he who knows how to make the adventure box go down the road.

Re:You are here (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026815)

IMHO, Sun worship and cat worship are some of the most sane and non-superstitious religions in existence (and ancient Egyptians did both). Unlike in many other religions, the deities are real and their immense powers over humans are apparent to all. Cats in particular have never done as well as today, and their star seems to be still rising. They don't do absolutely anything but look cute, and they are set for life with food, healthcare, and entertainment. Wild populations are often tolerated, giving them even more options.

Re:You are here (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024731)

47,000,000,000.1

Re:You are here (3, Interesting)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024923)

I feel like the image titled 'pale blue dot' does a better job of illustrating just how... small we are in the grand scheme of things.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Pale_Blue_Dot.png [wikimedia.org]

Do a search on youtube for 'Pale Blue Dot' by carl sagan if you want to be humbled.

Re:You are here (1)

spam4rakesh (1131931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025053)

right here.

Re:You are here (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025239)

If the universe is only 13.75 billion years old, how do you observe something 47 billion light years away?

Re:You are here (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025613)

I presume that one would observe it when it used to be a lot closer, shortly after the big bang, when the universe was much smaller. At least, you would observe the light which left that object when it used to be closer and has only now overtaken us as we move outward.

Re:You are here (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026021)

Yes, I figured that after I clicked submit.Futher googling confirmed the theory as well

Re:You are here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025641)

Last paragraph of summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe

Re:You are here (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027867)

It took a wrong turn at Sacramento.

Re:You are here (1)

mbrod (19122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025447)

La illaha.

There is no God.

There is no God in creation because he is the Creator of creation and there is nothing like Him. He created existence, time and space.

La illaha il illah,

There is no God, but God.

There is nothing in this Universe able to create (la illaha). So look for the One that does create.

Re:You are here (1)

MarkVVV (740454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025619)

Observing ungrateful people like you.

Re:You are here (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025855)

Well, assuming your numbers and my math are correct (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), I'd say we have something like 9.25*10^21 cubic light years in which to search.

Re:You are here (1)

uhuru_meditation (2573595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026527)

Yup. Still here and in the center of the universe..as The Earth always was.

Re:You are here (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027851)

Eating a banana. Bobo likes a banana before bed time.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023961)

What I don't get is why they use "miles". "Billions" is already such a large number that I cannot relate to it, might as well use a "proper" measurement.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024247)

Light-years are too large for this case and the only thing we really have between light-years and miles are AU, which most people don't really get. Granted, they don't understand exactly what a lightyear is either (especially the "I haven't been there in lightyears" crowd), but its even harder to understand what an AU is.

I think the main reason they use miles is people can relate to it. "Grandma's house is 12 miles away. California is 3,000 miles away. Hey, it takes a while to drive to California, I know because I've done it! A billion miles must be reaaallly big". It's a lot harder for Common Joe to relate to AU or lightyears, nevermind trying to explain that 1 billion miles is a little over 5,368 lightseconds.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024799)

I move we start measuring distance in light forthours.

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (4, Informative)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024665)

I've been interested in all things 'space' since I was a young kid and consider myself reasonably knowledgeable about the universe, galaxies, star systems, etc, but I still get blown away when thinking about the scale of things some times.

One of the main things I try to put across to people when I talk about space, is just how big it is. Sometimes people can't get their head around the numbers, which is quite understandable seeing as we typically don't have much experience dealing with these kind of measurements, so if I have the chance I will point them to the following links containing fantastic visualisations of such scales. They cover the very big and the very small equally well I think, and are simple and engaging enough for kids to follow too.

Powers of Ten [powersof10.com] - very interesting short video commissioned by IBM back in 1968.

The Scale of The Universe [htwins.net] - interactive flash applet that allows you to zoom in and out of the universe (an updated version of one done a year or two back by the same authors).

Relative size of stars and planets [rense.com] - I have no idea who originally made this set of images but they have propogated around the web over the years and this just happens to be first link to it I found in Google results.

If there's one thing in the second and third links that I think will surprise a lot of people, it's how insanely large the biggest stars are compared to our Sun (in diameter, not necessarily in mass).

Re:Astronomical distances and poetry (2)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027691)

Two things about The Powers of Ten:

While commissioned by IBM, it was created by the office of Charles and Ray Eames. As in the chair.

An updated, shiner, IMAX version, narrated by Morgan Freeman, was recently created. While prettier, if you watch the two back-to-back on youtube, you can see the science content getting softer and more digestible (not that the original was a tremendously high bar). One exception - the area of the previous order of magnitude is displayed as a circle rather than as a square.

I'm impressed, (2)

MSesow (1256108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023673)

Blazing out of the sun’s gravitational well at 34,000 miles per hour

That's about like driving from San Francisco to New York City in 5 minutes, or from Madrid to Moscow in a little more than 4 minutes (via Google Maps directions), instead of a couple of days. I'm impressed.

Re:I'm impressed, (4, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023755)

Actually, it's about as different from driving as you can get. Stop for just one traffic light between here and Pluto, and see what it does to your mission profile.

Re:I'm impressed, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024009)

Do you still get a ticket if you don't have any brakes?

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024261)

Do retro rockets count? Surely they're DMV approved.

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024081)

Well, considering the distance travelled per second, and the number of seconds warning that you would get that the light was going to turn red (nobody ever starts breaking until the light is orange!), to go from 34,000 miles per hour to a dead stop in about 12 seconds would require a total energy of ... er... half a ton times... ouch. I think you're going to get a bit of a seat-belt rash from that one. Good thing they planned for a route with no traffic lights or stop signs. Hopefully they won't have a problem at the moose crossing.

Re:I'm impressed, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024287)

"(nobody ever starts breaking until the light is orange!"

Oh my god! Someone must stop those lights! Wait, did you mean "break" like spiritually?

Re:I'm impressed, (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025891)

Yellow lights should last around 1 second per 10 miles of speed, if the speed limit is 34,000 miles an hour then the yellow light should last 3,400 seconds or a little under an hour.

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024085)

I don't know why- but that comment has got the song "UFOs, Big Rigs, And BBQ" stuck in my head.

UFOs are big rigs
They come from outer-space
stopping off at the truck stop earth
looking for some food to eat

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025737)

Stop for just one traffic light from that speed and see what your face does to your windshield.

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024217)

It's also like rocketing from Earth to Pluto in just over 8 years, or from the Moon to Saturn in just under 5 years (via TFA). =)

Teasing aside, the little space-bullet hit 51,000 mph during Jupiter's gravity assist. Crazy fast.

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

reezle (239894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024613)

I don't know... geosynchronous satellites go about 7000mph, and we have dozens (hundred?) of them up there.
Seems like interplanetary missions should be going at least an order of magnitude faster.
(Yeah, the economics of it all)

Re:I'm impressed, (4, Interesting)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026427)

FWIW, I think most folks are just thinking about things wrong when they talk about velocity of space vehicles. It's often better to think of things in terms of work and kinetic energy (force x distance). For example, interestingly, once you are in geosync** orbit***, the "escape" speed (aka escape velocity) is even lower than on the ground (since escape_speed ~ sqrt(2GM/r), bigger "r" means lower escape speed), but moving a certain distance and having a certain kinetic energy in the gravitational potential well are more intuitive notions.

Besides, velocity is "generally" relative anyhow ;^) Acceleration is the interesting notion. Standing on earth we are already all going 65,000mph relative to the sun because the earth is in orbit (meaning the earth is balanced between falling into the sun and flinging away). It's only the difficulty of maintaining a chosen velocity on earth where there's lots of friction that warps our perception of velocity. Under constant acceleration in a vaccuum, acheiving high velocity is just a matter of waiting for some time.

**Geosync is just the orbit you have to get to so that the gravitational acceleration matches the centripital acceleration needed to maintain the same relative position on the ground. Of course for a satellite still on the ground, that's easy, static frictional forces provide the needed acceleration to maintain the same relative position on the ground. When the satellite is launched above the ground, there aren't any static frictional forces, so you need to rely on gravity to apply the appropriate gravitational acceleration. If mass and the gravitational constant are invarient, you really only have the radius to play with. You then get whatever "circular" velocity you get at that radius (or you don't stay in orbit very long) w/o applying additional forces over the gravitational force.

***In orbit, you sweep out equal areas in equal time, so in a highly eccentric orbit (or even a parabolic or hyperbolic orbit that you get with gravity assist), you can get really, really, high velocities at some points in the orbit. Of course these types of orbits aren't geosync orbits anymore.

Re:I'm impressed, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025849)

It's actually not that impressive. Sure it would be expensive but my god, we're a decade into the 21st century. Why can't we have a real 'space race' -- see what percentage of lightspeed a craft can actually get to. Use chem rockets to do a boost toward the sun, gravity assist around it and do that a couple more time between planets, use an additional ion engine for cruise... We could probably easily catch up to Voyager...

Re:I'm impressed, (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026045)

Blazing out of the sun’s gravitational well at 34,000 miles per hour

That's about like driving from San Francisco to New York City in 5 minutes, or from Madrid to Moscow in a little more than 4 minutes (via Google Maps directions), instead of a couple of days. I'm impressed.

Oh goody, a car analogy. Sort of.

Detailed location data (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023675)

A page showing New Horizons' location relative to the planets is here [jhuapl.edu] . Detailed ephemeris and other data on the probe can be obtained from NASA's HORIZONS [nasa.gov] system -- click on Target body "[change]", then enter "-98" in the search box.

The Vertically Challenged Planet (4, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023781)

Getting to pass close to an object as small as Pluto, (reclassified as I like to say as a "vertically challenged" planet) from 3 billion miles away is impressive. Especially since this is no sitting duck.

This is an object whose velocity is measured in KM per second moving in a very eccentric orbit.

We often take for granted NASA does this and NASA does that- because they have been doing it for decades- but it never ceases to amaze me how we can so accurately target (relatively) small objects that are travelling at such incredible speeds from such mind boggling distances.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024311)

You've got a point.

I bet when NASA engineers play beer pong, each cup is moving at a different speed with a different path. And you have to aim from the next city over looking through a spyglass.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024737)

Yeah, if our marksmen had the same accuracy- a sniper with a powerfull enough rifle could have taken out Saddam Hussein with a single shot whilst standing on top of Mt. Rushmore. Completely avoiding the 2nd Gulf war.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024773)

I should point out that in my analogy above- the sniper is standing on top of Mt. Rushmore- not Sadam Hussein.

Saddam would presumably have been dedicating a statue of himself in Baghdad.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026809)

I should point out that in my analogy above- the sniper is standing on top of Mt. Rushmore- not Sadam Hussein.

Well, in the latter case the shot is quite a bit easier.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025115)

I bet when NASA engineers play beer pong, each cup is moving at a different speed with a different path. And you have to aim from the next city over looking through a spyglass.

And nobody is impressed unless you use the lip of a closer cup to redirect the ball into the cup you were aiming for.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024603)

Man, you make those NASA folks sound as smart as a bunch of rocket scientists.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025549)

I think you mean radially challanged

WHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026773)

After of a little lecture of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Horizons [wikipedia.org] , i discovered their possible failures: their instruments will be super frozen, and they will be hardful to be booten themselves for starting to collect data and to transmit them to Earth.

WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

JCPM

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

jaa101 (627731) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026547)

You do realise they do course corrections [nasa.gov] ? Yes, the maths they do is neat, especially when they need to take relativistic effects into account. There's a limit to how accurately the spacecraft can set its course so they plan to fine-tune multiple times during a mission.

Re:The Vertically Challenged Planet (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027955)

True, but just working out the exact position of the probe and Pluto to that level of precision is a challenge.

fingers crossed (2)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023845)

Given the way NASA's keeps getting slashed, we'll be lucky if there's any money left to analyze the data when it finally does arrive at Pluto.

Re:fingers crossed (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023879)

Given the way NASA's keeps getting slashed, we'll be lucky if there's any money left to analyze the data when it finally does arrive at Pluto.

Err, that should have been "Given the way NASA's budget keeps getting slashed..."

Re:fingers crossed (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024047)

Nah- Pluto is getting slashed too. A few years ago a planet, now a dwarf planet- soon it will be an asteroid and later it will be reclassified as inter-stellar debris.

Not malfunctioning the electronic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023849)

And into 0 degrees Kelvin from deeper space, they lie.

JCPM

Not writing the english? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024127)

And no "degrees" with Kelvin is necessary, no lie.

Jesus Christ, Price Moderator.

Re:Not malfunctioning the electronic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025031)

Satellites and deep space probes do have heating on board as far as I can remember.

Re:Not malfunctioning the electronic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025493)

Satellites and deep space probes do have heating on board as far as I can remember.

Not only it, the antenna is too cold that is required to be heated, and the probe has not the right heating distribution to all electronic piece from the board to the extreme point of the antenna or satellite.

Then, they are talking another more lies.

JCPM: space researchers will be surprised about the hidden lies when they do physical calculus.

Re:Not malfunctioning the electronic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027695)

So, um, what exactly is the problem with electronics working in space? It's not actually "cold" or "hot". It isn't anything, like the vacuum in a Thermos bottle, or between your ears.

You sound like a moron.

Stupid scientists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028175)

About vacuum, stupid space scientists on Earth don't distinguish the difference between the pressure (at 0 atmospheres or 0 Pascales) and the temperature.

Vacuum is NOT EQUAL to 0 Kelvin.

JCPM: error!, errata!, bug!, asshole!, period.

Just some things (4, Informative)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024189)

Already, NH has prompted much more thorough scrutiny of Pluto, resulting in the discovery of a new (fourth) moon;

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/20jul_p4/ [nasa.gov]

And hey, the program is trying to select a member of the Kuiper Belt to visit beyond Pluto, and they're crowdsourcing the search;

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-06/22/crowd-source-new-horizons-next-destination [wired.co.uk]

Also, there's a New Horizons app in the iPhone App store (don't know if there's an Android version).

Re:Just some things (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026041)

Also, there's a New Horizons app in the iPhone App store (don't know if there's an Android version).

I didn't see one when I searched market. The only apps that showed up in a search for "New Horizon" was a combination compass/artificial horizon and a banking application.

Distance from Earth to Saturn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024271)

"That's twice the distance between Earth and Saturn."

The distance is quite variable so this doesn't make much sense. Perhaps you meant to say:

"That's twice the difference between radii of Saturn's and Earth's orbit.",

9.98 AU from Pluto (5, Interesting)

dfcamara (1268174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024289)

Distance from Sun (AU): 22.34
Distance from Earth (AU): 23.06
Distance from Pluto (AU): 9.98

IMHO much more sense than billions of miles.

Re:9.98 AU from Pluto (3, Informative)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026831)

The scientifically interesting distance is when it gets close enough to get better data than Hubble did. At perigee, Pluto was at a minimum distance of 28.6 AU from Earth. New Horizons has a much smaller telescope, so it gets 1/20th the resolution as Hubble gets. Therefore it needs to be that much closer, or 1.4 AU away, before it can take better photos. Until then, Earthbound equipment does a better job. That time is around the start of 2015, 6 months before flyby.

Think about this (4, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024323)

If it had not been for the exhorbitant cost of the wars, we could have afforded to build a probe to orbit Pluto rather than just do a flyby.

As it was, New Horizons was largely made possible by a few congressman who pushed specifically for funding for this mission before Pluto's orbit [windows2universe.org] removed it too far away from the sun.

Pluto is small (2)

skrimp (790524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024325)

Pluto is smaller than our Moon. Our planet should be re-classified as a binary planet, with the number of planets in our solar system restored to 9.

Re:Pluto is small (2)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026105)

Interestingly enough there are seven moons that are larger than Pluto. Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, the Moon, Io, Europa and Triton.

Re:Pluto is small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026979)

Pluto is smaller than our Moon. Our planet should be re-classified as a binary planet, with the number of planets in our solar system restored to 9.

Earth is not considered a planet anymore.

So any "Pioneer" effect? (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024631)

Has there been any indication of the slight change in velocity experienced by (one of?) the Pioneer probes? (I don't know if it was claimed to affect the Voyager probes).

I realize that they think it was due to heating causing a tiny radiation pressure but just wondering.

Also, have they decided if there is a ring system at Pluto to avoid? Any follow on plans to image any specific Kuiper objects?

You know, if they could figure out how to use the main dish for radio-astronometric purposes, it would be fantastic! Although the dish size is very small compared to the ones on the ground, if they could make this work what a fantastic baseline! 100AU! I think they've got enough power to do this (the half life of the plutoniium is 88 years). But maybe they'd need to have an atomic clock on board to pull it off, I doubt they thought of that :(

Discovery channel junk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025141)

And in other news (on the same page) "Psychics Say Apollo 16 Astronauts Found Alien Ship", "NASA Finds Lost Spacecraft on DARK [emphasis mine] Side of the Moon".

question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025189)

New Horizon is traveling about 34,471 mph. It was launched January 19, 2006 and has been flying almost six years. I know as an object approaches the speed of light time slows down. So, how much has New Horizon actually aged with respect to us?

Slow (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026609)

I just don't see what the big deal is. My Imicus can clear this distance in about 20 seconds, including the time to startup and shutdown.

Apathetic planet, I've no sympathy at all.

Re:Slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027449)

Maybe, but my Helios can do it faster (cloaked)!

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