(ORDO NEWS) — On July 14, 2015, NASA‘s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the dwarf planet Pluto and its five moons, collecting invaluable data and taking high-resolution images.
On that day, humanity made a virtual journey into the Kuiper belt , the study of which continues with this legendary apparatus. By the way, the New Horizons mission has been extended until at least 2024.
But Pluto, perhaps, was the most interesting target of the apparatus, which means that the organization of a full- fledged mission to study this cold world is a matter of time. Where such confidence?
In early 2020, NASA instructed the Southwestern Research Institute (SwRI) to draw up a plan for a mission to Pluto, which would involve launching a probe that would reach the dwarf planet, enter orbit, and begin a two-year data collection (and after the mission would be extended for another year for ten, which is the norm for NASA).
When will the launch take place? Unfortunately, this will not happen before the 2030s. It’s all about the relatively small funding of the agency and too many projects that have to be dealt with at the same time.
The picture attached at the beginning of the article shows Pluto in natural colors. The photo was taken by New Horizons on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 35,445 kilometers.
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