The New Horizons space probe was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, naturally. But it was built by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (with the Southwest Research Institute), where it’s currently being controlled from. And it’s about to fly by Pluto.
It was launched way back when Pluto was still a planet, on January 19, 2006. And after nine-plus years and traveling at something like 36,000 miles per hour, it’s only three months away from grazing the not-quite-a-planet.
In February, the APL released the first color images of Pluto and its satellite Charon. Last week they released another, (Kinda fuzzy if you ask me.) Expect more in July, of the “detailed, high-resolution” variety.
The craziest thing is that after New Horizons passes Pluto, it’s heading out into interstellar space. It’s just going to have to watch out for any and all debris larger than, say, 1 millimeter in diameter.
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