New Horizons mission a big step in exploration of solar system
FRISCO — After a 10-year, 3 billion mile voyage across the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew within 8,000 miles of Pluto today — the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth.
“The exploration of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons represents the capstone event to 50 years of planetary exploration by NASA and the United States,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Once again we have achieved a historic first. The United States is the first nation to reach Pluto, and with this mission has completed the initial survey of our solar system,” Bolden said.
Federal officials also touted other NASA space efforts, including the Kepler mission to identify Earth-like planets around stars other than our own; and the DSCOVR satellite that soon will be beaming back images of the whole Earth in near real-time from a vantage point a million miles away. Continue reading