NASA's New Horizons spacecraft unveils new maps of Pluto, Charon

Jul 17, 2017 12:08 IST

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on 14 July 2017 unveiled a set of detailed and high-quality global maps of Pluto and its largest moon Charon on the occasion of the two year anniversary of the flyby.

These new maps from the landmark exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons mission will help unravel the mysteries associated with Pluto.


NASA's New Horizons spacecraft

The New Horizons spacecraft made its historic flight through the Pluto system on 14 July 2015. It provided the first close-up images of Pluto and its moons and collected other data for deeper understanding of these mysterious worlds on the solar system’s outer frontier.

Scientists are still analyzing and uncovering the data that New Horizons recorded and provided after the encounter.

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About New Horizons Mission

• The purpose of New Horizons mission is to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt; to perform flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs).

• It was launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second.

• The spacecraft made the closest approach to Jupiter in February 2007.

• With its successful flyby, Pluto became the first Kuiper Belt object visited by a mission from Earth. Kuiper Belt ranges from the orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 Astronomical Units from the Sun.

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