Spacecraft Flies By Pluto – Results Will be Revealed Tonight
The New Horizons spacecraft passed with 8,000 miles of the surface of Pluto shortly before 6 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time today, July 14.
The craft has been busy gathering data on the small planet and its moons. However, scientists will not get confirmation of success until about 7 p.m. MDT tonight. It takes hours to send information back and forth to the tiny craft.
The spacecraft has been taking photos and gathering other information on such things as Pluto's atmosphere, its ice cap and its size - now officially set at 2,370 kilometers in diameter, according to information from the John Hopkins Applied Physical Laboratory.
New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft we've ever launched. It zoomed by Pluto at an estimated 30,000 miles per hour and is headed further into the Kuiper Belt of asteroids on the outer edges of our solar system.
There are a variety of places you can check online about New Horizons, including the Applied Physical Laboratory's main page. Of course, if you have access to the NASA TV channel, they have great information.