From 9.30pm AEST (12.30pm BST, 1.30pm ASAT, 7.30am EST), I’ll be blogging live as we follow NASA’s coverage of the New Horizons mission. Refresh this page every few minutes for the latest updates.
NASA live stream:
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Not asleep now! For about two-thirds of its flight, New Horizons was powered down and in hibernation. Like a real sleepy-head, the spacecraft would briefly wake up two or three times a year, check that all was ok, then return to deep slumber. The spacecraft woke for good on December 6, 2014.
The road ahead for New Horizons – note the timings are given in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
“It feels like you’ve been walking on an escalator for almost a decade, and then you step upon a supersonic transport” says Alan Stern, principal investigator for the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
It’s been a long wait for these scientists and engineers, following a spacecraft that was launched nine-and-a-half years ago. It’s no wonder this has been dubbed the mission of patience.
But now, the fun is about to begin. This evening (Australian time), New Horizons will whizz past Pluto – the last unexplored world in our solar system. It’s a new realm of discovery, seeing a part of the solar system that we’ve never seen before. This is a fantastic story of exploration and one we can all be a part of.
Until then, enjoy some of the latest images to be beamed back from the edge of the solar system.
[signoff icon=”icon-link”]ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The Conversation
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