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January 17, 2006

Probe Plans Planet Pluto Plumming

Via Insty, fun stuff about everyone's favorite semiplanetoid Trans-Neptunian Object:

The scheduled launch of the New Horizons spacecraft Tuesday afternoon, and a successful, nine-year journey to Pluto, would complete an exploration of the planets started by NASA in the early 1960s with unmanned missions to observe Mars, Mercury and Venus.

"What we know about Pluto today could fit on the back of a postage stamp," said Colleen Hartman, a deputy associate administrator at NASA. "The textbooks will be rewritten after this mission is completed."

Old Textbook: Icy.

New Textbook: Mostly icy.

Old Textbook: Cold as shit.

New Textbook: Cold as fuck.

She's A Fast Machine: Assumedly she keeps her motor clean:

New Horizons will lift off on an Atlas V rocket, which was rolled to the launch pad Monday, and speed away from Earth at 36,000 mph, the fastest spacecraft ever launched. It will reach Earth's moon in about nine hours and arrive in 13 months at Jupiter, where it will use the giant planet's gravity as a slingshot, shaving five year off the 3-billion-mile trip.

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posted by Ace at 06:41 PM

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