Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
New Horizons' Principal Investigator Alan Stern gives an update on the mission's progress toward Pluto.
New Horizons has just completed a summer of intensive activities and entered hibernation on Aug. 20. The routine parts of the activities included thorough checkouts of all our backup systems (result: they work fine!) and of all our scientific instruments (they work fine too!).
Back in 2005 and 2006, when Pluto’s second and third moons (Nix and Hydra) were discovered, searches by astronomers for still more moons didn’t reveal any. So the accidental discovery of Pluto’s fourth moon by the Hubble Space Telescope in mid-2011 raised the possibility that the hazards in the Pluto system might be greater than previously anticipated.
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Ten Things I Wish We Really Knew In Planetary Science
LRO, LCROSS, and the Search for Lunar Ice Begins Anew Next Month
Despite still being more than six years and just over 18 Astronomical Units from the Pluto system, the project team for New Horizons is conducting the second and final portion of our Pluto Encounter Preliminary Design Review (EPDR) tomorrow and the next day.
Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.