The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NASA's Pluto Fly-By

Mankind's technology pays off with eyes across the solar system.  

The White House
America is the first country to reach Pluto, and this is the closest image we've ever seen. It took a decade to fly our New Horizons spacecraft through the solar system to send back this love note from the dwarf planet. Congrats on a successful #PlutoFlyByNASA - National Aeronautics and Space

Pluto just had its first visitor! Thanks - it's a great day for discovery and American leadership.

AoL published a detailed piece on the FLY-BY and "phonehome." 

Dr. John P. Holden write about the significance of the spacecraft  visit to the far off celestial body. 

The White House, Washington

This morning, the United States became the first country to reach Pluto -- and the first country to explore the entire classical solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

NASA's New Horizons interplanetary probe has been making its way to Pluto since January 19, 2006, and has been providing the world with the sharpest photos ever seen of our Solar System's most prominent "dwarf planet." Today, it made its closest approach to Pluto yet -- about 8,000 miles -- at around 07:49:57 EDT.

Here's the photo they took -- which, despite traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), took four and a half hours to reach us here on Earth as it crossed the 3 billion miles between here and Pluto:

The closest photo we've taken of Pluto.

That we were able to get so close to Pluto today is a feat whose probability scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson likened to "a hole-in-one on a two-mile golf shot." He's right.

Every once in a while, a photo comes along that has the ability to shift not just how we see our place in the universe, but how we see ourselves -- not just as Americans, but as citizens of Earth.

This is one of those photos, and I hope you'll share it with someone today.

More soon --


Dr. John P. Holdren
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
The White House


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