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Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
September 01, 2014
New Horizons Crosses Neptune Orbit On Route To First Pluto Flyby
Laurel MD (SPX) Aug 26, 2014
NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune. This is its last major crossing en route to becoming the first probe to make a close encounter with distant Pluto on July 14, 2015. The sophisticated piano-sized spacecraft, which launched in January 2006, reached Neptune's orbit - nearly 2.75 billion miles from Earth - in a record eight years and eight months. New Horizons' milestone matches precisely the 25th anniversary of the historic encounter of NASA's Voyager 2 ... read more

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Putting It All Together
The New Horizons mission will provide the first in situ investigation of objects in the Kuiper belt, making it a unique voyage of discovery. And it's unlikely we'll see a similar venture into the so ... more
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In exactly one year, NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto
Exactly one year from today, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to the far-away dwarf planet Pluto - the icy pseudo-planet's first manmade visitor. ... more
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Annual Checkout Makes for Great Pluto Preparation
You walk up to the Restaurant at the End of the Solar System, ready to try that slice of "Pluto on ice" that you heard amazing things about. The chef behind the counter asks, "So, how would you like ... more
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What If Voyager Had Explored Pluto?
As I mentioned in my previous PI Perspective, New Horizons crosses the orbit of Neptune, the outermost planet explored by the Voyager mission, late this August. Voyager's flyby of Neptune was in Aug ... more
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The PI's Perspective - Childhood's End
New Horizons is now just a few days from emerging from its next-to-last hibernation. The spacecraft has been hibernating about 80 percent of each year since we left Jupiter in 2007, but that will al ... more
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Final Pre-Pluto Annual Checkout Begins
Horizons' annual checkout - its eighth since launch in 2006 and last before next year's rendezvous with Pluto - kicks off this week with some onboard subsystem housekeeping and navigation-tracking t ... more
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Hubble Begins Search Beyond Pluto For Potential Flyby Targets
After careful consideration and analysis, the Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee has recommended using Hubble to search for an object the Pluto-bound NASA New Horizons mission could vi ... more
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Cracks in Pluto's Moon Could Indicate it Once Had an Underground Ocean
If the icy surface of Pluto's giant moon Charon is cracked, analysis of the fractures could reveal if its interior was warm, perhaps warm enough to have maintained a subterranean ocean of liquid wat ... more
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Assessing Pluto from Afar
CAPTION with LINK a href="http://guinan.space.swri.edu/nhcs/files/young_pluto_v3.pdf">What observations can the New Horizons team expect from Earth? /a> When New Horizons speeds past Pluto in July ... more
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Dwarf planet 'Biden' identified in an unlikely region of our solar system
Astronomers believe they have discovered a dwarf planet beyond Pluto, 7 billion miles from Earth. The new discovery is already causing scientists to reconsider everything they know about our solar s ... more
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Planet X myth debunked
It was an elusive planet that for 200 years appeared to explain Uranus's wobbly orbit. And there was the sister sun theorized to be near our solar system that caused asteroids to swerve toward Earth. ... more
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WISE Finds Thousands Of New Stars But No Planet X
After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system com ... more
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New Horizons Reaches the Final 4 AU
New Horizons sailed past another milepost today when the NASA spacecraft moved to within four astronomical units (AU) of Pluto - which is less than four times the distance between the Earth and the ... more
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Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead
New Horizons completed a quick, two-week maintenance wakeup on Jan. 17 and is back in hibernation. We'll wake the craft again in mid-June for our last active checkout, lasting about 10 weeks, on the ... more
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Countdown to Pluto
Are we there yet? One of the fastest spacecraft ever built - NASA's New Horizons - is hurtling through the void at nearly one million miles per day. Launched in 2006, it has been in flight longer th ... more
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A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons
With Pluto encounter operations now just a year away, the New Horizons team has brought the spacecraft out of hibernation for the first of several activities planned for 2014. Mission operator ... more
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    The Sounds of New Horizons
    What does New Horizons say when it calls home? Nothing, without the help of software that transforms zeros and ones from New Horizons' computers into images, instrument readings, or useful informati ... more
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    On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing
    Pluto isn't quite the next exit on New Horizons' voyage through the outer solar system, but the destination is definitely getting closer. Today the NASA spacecraft speeds to within five astron ... more
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    SwRI study finds that Pluto satellites' orbital ballet may hint of long-ago collisions
    A large impact 4 billion years ago may account for the puzzling orbital configuration among Pluto's five known satellites, according to a new model developed by planetary scientists from Southwest R ... more
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    Archival Hubble Images Reveal Neptune's "Lost" Inner Moon
    Neptune's tiny, innermost moon, Naiad, has now been seen for the first time since it was discovered by Voyager's cameras in 1989. Dr. Mark Showalter, a senior research scientist at the SETI Institut ... more
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    New Horizons - Late in Cruise, and a Binary Ahoy
    New Horizons has just completed a summer of intensive activities and entered hibernation on Aug. 20. The routine parts of the activities included thorough checkouts of all our backup systems (result ... more
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    Pluto Science Conference Exceeds Expectations
    Compressing eight decades of discoveries into five days, more than 100 scientists met last week at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., to talk everything Pluto - what ... more
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    SciTechTalk: Grab your erasers, there are more moons than we thought
    Quick: What's the total number of moons orbiting planets in our solar system? Don't worry if the answer's not on the tip of your tongue but it's still the Trivial Pursuit sort of question that's fun for a water cooler session at the office. ... more
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    NASA Hubble Finds New Neptune Moon
    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new moon orbiting the distant blue-green planet Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the giant planet. The moon, designated S/2004 N 1, is esti ... more
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