Almost seven and a half years ago, NASA launched “New Horizons,” a spacecraft that is destined for a rendezvous with the planet Pluto. Er, the dwarf Pluto, that is.
How far has New Horizons traveled already? About 2.6 billion miles. That’s billion with a B. Pretty impressive. What’s also pretty cool is that the New Horizons team has come up with several contingency plans to help minimize the chance of actually losing the spacecraft via a collision with space debris as they near the “Pluto system,” which is not only strewn with small rocks, but also home to five moons of the dwarf.
This article at Space Daily, published this week, provides fascinating details of the plans.
What’s conspicuously missing from that article is any discussion of how Pluto feels about all this. I mean, first they demote him to a dwarf, then they come at him with a probe? Can’t they just let him wallow in the ignominy of his dwarfhood with a little privacy? A little dignity?
Anyway…this very cool and geeky space news reminded me of my own take on Pluto’s embarrassing demotion to a dwarf, called PLUTOED.