View Full Version : Discussion: Pluto Mission Will Fly on an Atlas V

2003-Jul-25, 09:44 PM
SUMMARY: The first robotic mission to launch to the planet Pluto will be on board an Atlas V rocket, according to NASA. The New Horizons mission, built by NASA, the Southwest Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University is scheduled to take off in January 2006 and wouldn't reach the planet until 2015. New Horizons will take the first high-resolution photographs of Pluto, and help to answer key questions about its surface, atmosphere, and environment.

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2003-Jul-26, 03:21 AM
Oh please God, let it fly! Let it get there safely! Let it be the most fantastic mission yet!

(Sorry - as you can see I'm desparate to see Pluto close up)

Seriously, this is something I've waited years for. And for years it looked as though it was going to be cancelled.

I'm too lazy to go look, but does anyone know if there are any pages detailing the mission and its objectives? :)


2003-Jul-26, 03:56 AM
Do a search on Google for "new horizons pluto".

2003-Sep-20, 01:56 AM
Is Pluto's atmosphere really frozen to the ground? I'd read that in a book one time, dunno if its true though because in another book it said that Pluto shared its atmosphere with its moon Charon.

2003-Sep-20, 05:44 AM
To tell you the truth I'm not sure what the current consensus is on the properties of Plutoís atmosphere (or if it has one at all). Surely such a small planet couldn't have an atmosphere. From memory Charon is very close to Pluto, and its mass is large (proportionally) for a moon. I guess itís entirely possible that their atmospheres (if they existed) could overlap.

2003-Sep-20, 07:20 AM
Astronomers are pretty sure Pluto has an atmosphere. They detected it by watching how stars dim moment before Pluto moves in front of them. They also know that the atmosphere is composed of thanks to analyzing its spectrum.

I'm not sure about Charon and Pluto sharing an atmosphere, though.