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NASA

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It's Alive! NASA's New Horizons Pluto Probe 'Wakes Up' for Work





By Alan Boyle
December 6th 2014, 6:37 am

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From 2.9 billion miles away, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft let its handlers know on Saturday that it has awakened from hibernation and is ready for the climax of its nine-year trip to Pluto.

The first signals were received at the mission's control center at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland via a giant radio antenna in Australia just before 9:30 p.m. ET, nearly four and a half hours after it was sent by the piano-sized probe. It takes that long for signals to travel between there and here at the speed of light.

Later readings confirmed that New Horizons was fully awake.


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7 Things You May Not Know About the New Horizons Visit to Pluto





By John Wenz
JUN 8, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

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There's less than a month to go until the first flyby of Pluto


NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly past Pluto this July 14. The 12-hour flyby will provide the best view humanity has ever
gotten of the former ninth planet, and should show us lots of new things about the icy world. Here are a few thins we learned at a NASA
event for New Horizons this past weekend that you should keep in mind as the astronomically important even approaches.


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NASA Is Uploading Beautiful 4K Space Videos on YouTube





By Jamie Harris
JUN 15, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

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Breathtaking views from space have just become a lot more stunning.


Breathtaking views from space have just become a lot more stunning thanks to NASA, YouTube and 4K resolution.

NASA has uploaded its first ever video in 4K and 60 frames per second from the International Space Station - and it's just the beginning.

"The view of life in space is getting a major boost with the introduction of 4K Ultra High-Definition video," NASA said.


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The Camera That Will Send Back Stunning Color Pics of Pluto





By John Wenz
July 8, 2015 @ 9:20 AM

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It's Ralph's time to shine.


For the past few months, NASA's New Horizons has been sending us images of Pluto and its moons via the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera,
sending back the best pics of Pluto ever taken. But with the spacecraft now beginning its close encounter with the faraway worlds, it's now the Ralph camera's
time to shine.


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It's showtime for Pluto; prepare to be amazed by NASA flyby





By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer
July 12, 2015

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© Provided by Associated Press (NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI via AP)


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Pluto, reveal thyself, and Earthlings, enjoy the show.

On Tuesday, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will sweep past Pluto and present the previously unexplored world in all its icy glory.

It promises to be the biggest planetary unveiling in a quarter-century. The curtain hasn't been pulled back like this since NASA's
Voyager 2 shed light on Neptune in 1989.

Now it's little Pluto's turn to shine way out on the frigid fringes of our solar system.


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Astronomer's ashes nearing icy world he discovered: Pluto





By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press
July 12, 2015

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(Photo: NASA, Getty Images)


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Come Tuesday, Clyde Tombaugh will pass within 7,800 miles
of the icy world he discovered 85 years ago.

His ashes are flying on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft on humanity's first journey to Pluto.

New Horizons also is carrying a 1991 U.S. postage stamp that's about to become obsolete —
it trumpets "Pluto Not Yet Explored" — as well as two state quarters, one representing Florida,
home of the launch site, and the other Maryland, headquarters for the spacecraft developers
and flight control.

In all, nine small mementos are tucked aboard New Horizons.

There's a good reason there are nine.


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Published on Jul 15, 2015
NASA officials and team members of the New Horizons mission to Pluto participate in a news conference featuring
release of close-up images of Pluto’s surface and moons, and initial reactions from the New Horizons science team.

New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and mysterious small objects orbiting
beyond Neptune. This region also is known as the “third” zone of our solar system, beyond the inner rocky planets and
outer gas giants.
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The First Pluto Pictures From the New Horizons Flyby





By John Wenz
July 15, 2015

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The long wait is over. Here is your first close-up of the surface of Pluto, taken by the New Horizons craft yesterday during its approach to the dwarf planet. "This is
such a fascinating body, beyond my wildest dreams," NASA planetary science head Jim Green said.

At 8:52 PM Eastern last night, NASA got the signal that New Horizons had cleared the Pluto system. But that downlink sent back only telemetry and engineering
data—more or less an "I'm safe" radio message sent at 12 watts from 4.5 light hours away. The craft then resumed collecting scientific data. At 5 a.m. this morning,
the New Horizons team began receiving data from the craft on the Deep Space Network, which is how the spacecraft is returning images and other prioritized data at
about 1 KB per second. At that rate, it will take more than a year (474 days, as of this writing) to get back all 16 GB of data from the flyby.


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How the Family of the Man Who Discovered Pluto Feel About the New Horizons Flyby






Clyde Tombaugh's ashes sailed past Pluto yesterday. Here's how his children felt as the first close-ups came in.

By John Wenz
July 15, 2015

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n 1930, Clyde Tombaugh spotted a moving object between a series of photographic plates taken at the Lowell Observatory. It wasn't
quite the Planet X that was first reported. But the world that came to be known as Pluto instead turned out to be one of the most
fascinating objects found in our solar system.

That tiny world, smaller than our own moon, was the first hint that a third region of the solar system existed, made up primarily of
the debris from the formation of other planets. It took until 1992 to discover other objects in the region known as the Kuiper Belt,
and another decade before anything Pluto sized was found, but it opens up a new realm for exploration, of which NASA's space probe
New Horizons is just the beginning. And some of Tombaugh's ashes are aboard the spacecraft.


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Nix Pix Sizes Up Pluto's Middle Child Moon





By Calla Cofield
July 18, 2015 9:52 AM

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The middle child of Pluto's moon family, Nix, has been given its close up by the New Horizons
space probe.

The first close-up image of Nix snapped by the New Horizons probe seems a little fuzzy compared
with the stunning photos of Pluto and Charon, but that's because Nix is only 25 miles (40 kilometers)
wide — and, in fact, the measurement of its diameter is one of the major pieces of information that
the spacecraft science team has managed to glean from the new portraits of the satellite.


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Second Mountain Range Rises from Pluto's 'Heart' (Photo)





by Mike Wall
Space.com Senior Writer
July 21, 2015 05:48pm ET

Image
A second mountain range on Pluto that rises from the dwarf planet's heart-shaped region, nicknamed Tombaugh
Regio, is seen in this stunning imagefrom NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. NASA unveiled the image on July 21, 2015.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI


Pluto has a big heart — big enough to accommodate at least two sets of mountains, a new photo
from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveals.

New Horizons has spotted a second mountain range inside Tombaugh Regio, the 1,200-mile-wide
(2,000 kilometers) heart-shaped feature that mission team members named after Pluto's discoverer,
Clyde Tombaugh.

This newfound range rises up to 1 mile (1.6 km) above Pluto's frigid surface, making it comparable in
height to the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States, NASA officials said. Tombaugh Regio's
other known mountain range, by contrast, is more similar to the tall and jagged Rocky Mountains, topping
out at more than 2 miles (3.2 km) in elevation.


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Pluto Has Nitrogen Ice Flows and Atmospheric Haze






By John Wenz
JUL 24, 2015 @ 3:03 PM

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The latest from Friday's Pluto press conference.


Today's Pluto press conference brought forth fascinating new tidbits about the world from the New Horizons flyby.​ That will have to tide
over space fans, because this will be the last new imaging for a little more than a month as New Horizons' slow data transfer continues.


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