Pluto is back! NASA flies by the coldest planet!

Travelling to the unexplored

After 9 years of space flight the Pluto Flyby as they call it has finally reached Mars and the images catapulted back by Lorri, an engineering marvel will blow your mind.The New Horizons team has engineered a special spacecraft which is supposed to fly by and not orbit Pluto. It is obvious to wonder why put so much effort in a spacecraft which doesn’t even orbit around the planet and just go past it?

Why a Flyby?

The Flyby

The Flyby is supposed to be designed in such a way that it is efficient and powerful enough to travel such a long distance and apparently there is a lot of juice required for a rocket to lift off a ground and with a spacecraft like the new horizons which is the size of a piano,the rocket is not only lifting itself but also the fuel required to go all the way to Pluto.It will be impossible to even launch a rocket with so much of fuel and hence a Flyby.

Engineering behind the Flyby

Just imagine,this technology was developed 9 and a half years back and all we can do is just applaud the innovation and technology by NASA.The Flyby reached Pluto 14th of July and the first ever clear picture of the coldest planet was unveiled.Scientists are uncovering huge secrets about Pluto which exciting just to read.Now,Look at this.The gravitational force on earth is 1g and to that on Pluto is 0.06g, when you look at the numbers the obvious inference would be that the gravitational pull on Mars is lower than Earth right? but interestingly, it is  not so.Apparently Pluto has felt a wave of acceleration after getting near to Pluto.

Uncovering the secrets

This is an excerpt from the New Horizons Vlog

New Horizons sends and receives data on radio waves, which are the waves on the long end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Because they’re on the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves travel at the speed of light. It takes sunlight about 8.3 minutes to travel 1 astronomical unit or 1 AU, that is, the distance between the Sun and the Earth. Pluto is currently about 32 AU from Earth, so 32 times 8.3 is about 265 (minutes). So the one way light time delay for the mission team to talk to New Horizons is about 4 and a half hours each way.”

The First ever image of Pluto.

As nerdy and scientific it may seem it makes a huge sense and there are scientists working day and night to get as much data as possible from the spacecraft. More interesting stuff to come about Pluto in my next blog

I’m a software engineer from Coimbatore. I’m passionate about blogging and I write about my technological insights and technology tricks. My blogs circulate around social media and applications.