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DaveOlden
2003-Feb-26, 04:42 PM
This at space.com (got their subscription email just now... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Recent discussion about Pluto/KBO's has been happening over at BA's "Against the mainstream" Forum, so this article struck me as timely.

The whole article can be found here. (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/pluto_horizons_030225.html)

kilopi
2003-Feb-26, 04:45 PM
It says "Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft."

So, they used that to get funding for the mission. I wonder if they'll still respect Pluto when they're done with it.

Zap
2003-Feb-26, 04:51 PM
Alright! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif Its about time we look at Pluto closeup. Preliminary mapping from the Hubble HINT Pluto and Charon both MAY have active geological activity today. In fact I would be surprised if Pluto is found to be in any way vastly different from Neptune's moon Triton. Hopefully we will find out in a little over a decade.

DaveOlden
2003-Feb-26, 04:54 PM
We get to send it in only 3 years. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

That's pretty much right quick!

TriangleMan
2003-Feb-26, 05:19 PM
Does anyone have more detail on how the funding was justified? I'm all for further exploration of the solar system but I'm wondering whether we will actually learn something significant by sending a probe to Pluto. All the article mentions is that we're sending one because we haven't yet. I'm sure the scientists had better reasons than that, but what were those reasons?

DaveOlden
2003-Feb-26, 05:27 PM
Some links I just found, going back earlier on the project..

http://www.planetary.org/html/UPDATES/Pluto/Plutoletter.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/12/01/pluto.mission/index.html

Zathras
2003-Feb-26, 05:31 PM
On 2003-02-26 11:45, kilopi wrote:
It says "Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft."
. . .


Not quite true. There is no evidence that Earth has been visited by a spacecraft either. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

darkhunter
2003-Feb-26, 07:13 PM
On 2003-02-26 12:31, Zathras wrote:


On 2003-02-26 11:45, kilopi wrote:
It says "Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft."
. . .


Not quite true. There is no evidence that Earth has been visited by a spacecraft either. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


I beg to differ: We have visited planet Earth with a space craft, and oddly enough, detected life....

Sorry, can't remember the name of the mission (want to say Galillao or Cassinni) but as part of the orbit, it swung around the sun, and used Earth for a slingshot....

Read about it in Scientific American (I think)

kilopi
2003-Feb-26, 07:30 PM
On 2003-02-26 14:13, darkhunter wrote:
I beg to differ: We have visited planet Earth with a space craft, and oddly enough, detected life....
Unfortunately, as the joke goes, we're looking for intelligent life.

darkhunter
2003-Feb-26, 07:51 PM
On 2003-02-26 14:30, kilopi wrote:


On 2003-02-26 14:13, darkhunter wrote:
I beg to differ: We have visited planet Earth with a space craft, and oddly enough, detected life....
Unfortunately, as the joke goes, we're looking for intelligent life.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif I know...however, until our spaceships hook into the internet and find this board, we won't find alot... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Tuckerfan
2003-Feb-26, 08:09 PM
On 2003-02-26 11:45, kilopi wrote:
It says "Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft."

So, they used that to get funding for the mission. I wonder if they'll still respect Pluto when they're done with it.
Nah, probably won't even leave a $20 on the dresser afterwards. As for a phone call the next day? Forget about it! (Just ask Mercury.)

Zap
2003-Feb-26, 08:10 PM
On 2003-02-26 12:19, TriangleMan wrote:
Does anyone have more detail on how the funding was justified? I'm all for further exploration of the solar system but I'm wondering whether we will actually learn something significant by sending a probe to Pluto. All the article mentions is that we're sending one because we haven't yet. I'm sure the scientists had better reasons than that, but what were those reasons?


A probe to Pluto will hopefully help us learn the following about both Pluto and Charon:

1)Exact composition of atmosphere and surface
2)Exact nature of atmosphere and surface
3)Geological processes over the past billion years
4)Internal composition and structure
5)If there are more moons of Pluto

All of the above will also improve our knowledge of Pluto's (and Charon's) origin/history.

aurorae
2003-Feb-26, 09:15 PM
On 2003-02-26 11:51, Zap wrote:
In fact I would be surprised if Pluto is found to be in any way vastly different from Neptune's moon Triton. Hopefully we will find out in a little over a decade.


My guess is that Triton will prove to have a similar composition to Charon and Pluto, but that the latter two will not have the type of surface that Triton has because Triton has had internal melting caused by capture by Neptune. Just a guess.

Unless the atmosphere of Pluto is caused by internal heating due to Charon's orbit?

TriangleMan
2003-Feb-26, 10:13 PM
Thanks DaveOlden and Zap for the information. I didn't realize there might be plans for some additional KBO searching as well. With the recent discovery of Quaoar such a mission is would be important.

Oh, and just for the record, I think Pluto is a planet. Nobody likes to be demoted. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif