New Horizons spacecraft makes the closest approach to Pluto ever!

New Horizons spacecraft makes the closest approach to Pluto ever!

The historic event happened recently! NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto. It was the closest approach ever!

The historic event happened recently! NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto. It was the closest approach ever!

On early Tuesday morning, New Horizons spacecraft changed the course of history. After 3-billion-mile flight, that lasted for 9 years, it finally reached the tiny planet Pluto at 7:49 a.m. ET.

The distance between the spacecraft and Pluto was approximately 7,767 miles. For example, it’s a distance between Sydney and Seattle.

Before the flyby, NASA released a picture that shows the dwarf planet really closely.

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., which supervises the mission, started celebration right after it was completed.

Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, said in his statement:

So many people put so much work into this around the country. It’s a moment of celebration

The image, released by NASA, allowed scientists to identify the terrain that covers the planet.

Earlier this month, the spacecraft also terrified scientists as it experienced a really rough technical glitch. The unpleasant situation happened just two weeks before the mission completion, though an investigation didn’t find any hardware or software problems.

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh with the help of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. Since that time Pluto always fascinated scientists from all over the world. Tombaugh’s ashes were on board of the New Horizons.

Scientists will know for sure whether the mission is successful on Tuesday night, around 9 p.m. ET as the spacecraft has to phone home. All information and data from the spacecraft will be completely sent to Earth in October 2016.

New Horizons was launched in 2006. In 2007 it passed by Jupiter. It is also appears to be the fastest spacecraft ever, its speed is 30,000 mph.

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