150714-pluto-detail Pluto’s surface

Samuel Masters for Art-Sheep

On Tuesday 14 July, nine and a half years after being launched, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent its first radio signals confirming the first Pluto flyby. Received by a Deep Space Network antenna in Spain, the signals established the probe’s good condition, as well as a colorized view of the dwarf planet 3 billion miles away from our own.

Today, on Wednesday, a day after the transmission of the first signal, more close-up pictures were received and unveiled, marking the beginning of the successful streaming of data and information that is to come by NASA’s piano-sized spacecraft. Mission operations manager Alice Bowman has, characteristically, stated, “We have a healthy spacecraft, we’ve recorded data of the Pluto system, and we’re outbound from Pluto.”

via nbcnews



150714-charon Charon, Pluto’s largest moon


Hydra, one of Pluto’s small moons