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Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
July 24, 2014
In exactly one year, NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto
Laurel, Md. (UPI) Jul 14, 2013
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. NASA launched the New Horizons mission in 2006, and the probe has been speeding toward the outer reaches of our solar system ever since. "Not only did we choose the date, by the way, we chose the hour and the minute. And we're on track," said Alan Stern, lead investigator for NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission. ... read 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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    NASA finds new moon on Neptune
    A tiny new moon has been spotted circling Neptune - the 14th known to be orbiting the faraway planet, the US space agency said on Monday. ... more
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    A Giant Moon for the Ninth Planet
    This week the New Horizons mission team is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto's largest and "first" moon, Charon. This discovery was made in 1978 by U.S. Naval Observatory as ... more
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    Kerberos and Styx: Welcome to the Pluto System
    The names of Pluto's two smallest known moons, previously referred to as "P4" and "P5," have been formally approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). P4 has been named Kerberos, after t ... more
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    New Horizons Team Sticking to Original Flight Plan at Pluto
    Unless significant new hazards are found, expect NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to stay on its original course past Pluto and its moons, after mission managers concluded that the danger posed by dus ... more
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    Planning Accelerates For Pluto Encounter
    All exploration comes with both rewards and risks. Back in 2005 and 2006, when Pluto's second and third moons (Nix and Hydra) were discovered, searches by astronomers for still more moons didn't rev ... more
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