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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Visiting Pluto Late Tomorrow

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I discuss a flyby of Pluto.
For John, BLUFIt is too bad NASA appears to have lost some of its creativity.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Dr Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of The Space Review, has written about the New Horizons space probe and its rendezvous, later this evening, with Pluto.  It is titled "A midsummer classic".

The lede is:

On Tuesday night, millions of Americans will be tuning in to watch Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game, sometimes called the “Midsummer Classic.”  The best players in the game face off against one another, American League versus National League, with home field advantage for the World Series on the line.

But as the game progresses in Cincinnati, the real midsummer classic will be taking place hundreds of kilometers to the east, on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).  Shortly before 9 pm Eastern time Tuesday night (0100 GMT Wednesday), the New Horizons mission team there will be listening for a transmission due from the spacecraft, the first communications since the spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto thirteen hours earlier.  If New Horizons does phone home, and in good health, the excitement in that mission operations center will likely be far greater than anything on the baseball diamond.

For readers of The Boston Globe, "Prickly City", drawn by Scott Stantis, seems to be following New Horizons.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Dr Foust can be reached via EMail at
  Formerly the Ninth Planet.  Some months after New Horizons was launched (19 January 2006) Pluto was downgraded by an IAU (International Astronomical Union) resolution (24 August 2006).

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