NEW HORI­ZONS AWAKES

Sky at Night Magazine - - BULLETIN -

Pluto-bound space­craft New Hori­zons awoke from hi­ber­na­tion in De­cem­ber af­ter a jour­ney that has lasted more than nine years. Since launch­ing in 2006, the probe has spent about two-thirds of its time in largely un­pow­ered hi­ber­na­tion to re­duce wear and tear on its com­po­nents.

“This is a wa­ter­shed event that sig­nals the end of New Hori­zons’ cross­ing of a vast ocean of space to the very fron­tier of our So­lar Sys­tem,” says Alan Stern from South­west Re­search In­sti­tute in Colorado, lead sci­en­tist for the mission. The space­craft’s clos­est ap­proach to Pluto will oc­cur on 14 July.

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