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Old 12-03-2011, 07:56 PM   #106
Kyle
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As previously mentioned.. Pluto will probably look like Neptune's moon Triton, as Triton is often speculated as being a captured large Kuiper-belt object.

Based on that, it is possible that Pluto isn't as dead as you might think, and could feature some geological activity such as geysers, maybe some tectonic action, ect.

IMO, Pluto, Charon will look very similar to one another, Hydra, Nix, and P4 will probably all be very asteroid looking.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:14 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Cras View Post
 Isn't there supposed to be a bit of an atmosphere out there on Pluto? A very tiny bit? So that would make it somewhat unique. And it is Pluto. When I heard about this mission I got very excited to finally get to see some real pictures, and see what it really looks like.

Still got some ways to go until then.


http://www.universetoday.com/13873/plutos-atmosphere/

Thats why they are in a hurry!

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:27 PM   #108
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Pluto Mission News

December 21, 2011

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu




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Evidence of Complex Molecules Found on Pluto



Even from afar, Pluto gets more and more interesting. Using the new and highly sensitive Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have discovered a strong ultraviolet-wavelength absorber on Pluto's surface – providing new evidence of complex hydrocarbon and /or nitrile molecules lying on the surface.

Such chemical species can be produced by the interaction of sunlight or cosmic rays with Pluto's known surface ices, including methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. “This is an exciting finding because complex Plutonian hydrocarbons and other molecules that could be responsible for the ultraviolet spectral features we found with Hubble may, among other things, be responsible for giving Pluto its ruddy color,” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern. He adds that the finding “reminds us that even more exciting discoveries about Pluto's composition and surface evolution are likely to be in store when New Horizons arrives at Pluto in 2015.”

Read the full story.


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Follow New Horizons - from Anywhere!



Now iPhone and iPad users have a new way to follow NASA’s historic voyage to the planetary frontier. Available in the iTunes App Store, “New Horizons: A NASA Voyage to Pluto” brings users the latest news and pictures from the mission, as well as details on the spacecraft and science instruments, and offers access to educational programs and activities.



Main features include reports from the New Horizons news center and Twitter feed; stunning images of New Horizons or those taken by the spacecraft’s cameras; videos that tell the New Horizons story; and a “tour” of the New Horizons spacecraft.



Find New Horizons in the iTunes App Store here




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New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of rocky, icy objects beyond. Principal Investigator Alan Stern leads a mission team that includes the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, Ball Aerospace Corporation, the Boeing Company, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford University, KinetX, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, University of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a number of other firms, NASA centers and university partners. Visit the mission website for more information.




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Get the latest on New Horizons! Keep up with the mission on Twitter and Facebook.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Ghostrider View Post
 Darn. We've got to wait until 2015... But then we'll have some nice textures for Pluto.
This is a very fast flyby with a lot of targets for imaging. The best we can hope for is a partial set, covering some 1/4 of the planet's surface...
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:57 AM   #110
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^If only they could orbit it... how often do Pluto launch windows come along
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:21 PM   #111
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JHUAPL: New Horizons Team Remembers Patsy Tombaugh:
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January 16, 2012

It was January 2006, just days before the New Horizons spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. A reporter asked Patsy Tombaugh, widow of Pluto’s discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh, what her husband might have thought about the first mission to the planet he found in 1930.

“He’d be very happy about it,” she said, “because he’d really want to know what they were finding out about Pluto.”

Today, the team fulfilling that wish mourns Patsy Tombaugh, who died Jan. 12 in Las Cruces, N.M. She was 99.

{...}
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:27 PM   #112
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Why can't they orbit? Is that just to much of a retroburn needed?
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #113
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php

Late Cruise:

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Today – as we mark the sixth anniversary of our launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on January 19, 2006 – New Horizons remains healthy and on course, now more than 22 times as far from the Sun as the Earth is.

Our nine-year flight from launch to the beginning of Pluto encounter in January 2015 is two-thirds over. As a result, we’re entering the final three-year segment of our long interplanetary trek from Earth to Pluto, called “Late Cruise.”
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Spacethingy View Post
 Why can't they orbit? Is that just to much of a retroburn needed?
It's either an escape trajectory with no orbit quickly, or a slow hohhman transfer with orbital insertion. They opted for sooner rather than later.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by NovaSilisko View Post
 It's either an escape trajectory with no orbit quickly, or a slow hohhman transfer with orbital insertion. They opted for sooner rather than later.
They wanted to get there before the atmosphere freezes for the next couple hundred years.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #116
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New Horizons Works through Winter Wakeup
January 27, 2012

On Jan. 21, the operations team successfully tested the New Horizons Radio Science Experiment, taking advantage of an Earth-moon-spacecraft alignment to simulate atmospheric measurements “REX” will make at Pluto in 2015. REX is integrated into the spacecraft communications system.
New Horizons might be more than two billion miles from home, but the spacecraft has spent most of the new year at the fingertips of its operators.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20120127.php

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #117
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20120201.php

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New Horizons’ flight to explore the Pluto system in July 2015 will be a historic accomplishment for the U.S. space program, for planetary science, and indeed for all humankind.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:35 PM   #118
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Yes! The New Horizons is going to be a new Voyager, exploring the end of the Solar System and unknow places, like Pluto and the Kuiper Belt!
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #119
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New Horizons on Approach: 22 AU Down, Just 10 to Go
February 10, 2012
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Few spacecraft travel 10 astronomical units during their entire mission. But with New Horizons already logging more than twice that distance on its way to Pluto, coming to within 10 AU of its main target is akin to entering the home stretch.
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20120210.php

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Old 03-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #120
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Give New Horizons the stamp of approval....oh dear.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20120307.php

Quote:
New Horizons Stamp Drive Completes a 10K – and Keeps Going!
March 7, 2012
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