New Horizons’ long journey to Pluto ended in an instant early this morning, when the NASA spacecraft went screaming past the dwarf planet at 30,800 mph — but the mission is far from over.

Even as the spacecraft speeds deeper into the Kuiper belt, its instruments will continue to search for signs of faint rings around the small world and take measurements of the dust and plasma in Pluto’s neighborhood.

And then there’s all the new data that it has to get back to Earth.

New Horizons stopped communicating with ground control at 8:17 p.m. Pacific time Monday, and it is not expected to resume contact again until 6:02 p.m. Tuesday.

Read more

Related Articles