Politik

Historiskt i rymden, rymdsonden New Horizons passerar Pluto

När NASA:s rymdsond New Horizons nu snart kommer att flyga förbi Pluto så är det med hjälp från astrofysiker på NASA:s anläggning här i Silicon Valley.

Historiskt, och ett bevis på att USA behåller sin position som världens ledande supermakt, i alla fall på rymdforskningens område.

Kenneth Chang skriver i New York Times: A Close-Up for Pluto After Spacecraft’s 3-Billion-Mile Trip

LAUREL, Md. — Almost there.

After nine and a half years and three billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was on course to take the first close-up look at Pluto on Tuesday morning.

“Fasten your seatbelts,” S. Alan Stern, the mission’s principal investigator, said Monday at a news conference here at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is operating the mission. “New Horizons is arriving at the Pluto system.”

Among the science findings so far: a precise measurement of Pluto’s diameter; greater than expected amounts of nitrogen leaking from the atmosphere into space; confirmation of nitrogen and methane ices at the polar region; and images that show strange, and different, landscapes on Pluto and Charon, its largest moon.

“Pluto has not disappointed,” Dr. Stern said. He described the data so far as “mouthwatering,” but said it was still too early to answer some of the mysteries, like the strange features of Pluto and Charon.

Paul Schenk, a co-investigator on the science team, said, “It looks like somebody painted it for a ‘Star Trek’ episode.”

Och den bästa platsen att följa rydmsonden när den passerar Pluto är på NASAs utmärkta hemsida

Pressklipp:
Expressen, DN, SR