NASA's New Horizons spacecraft had just visited the most searched ever


But there were minivan-size spaceships called New Horizons. And Ultima Thule, a primitive thing, called a rocky image of the solar system sources, and its name means "beyond the borders of the world."

At the New Horizon birthplace, science scientists replaced Johns Hopkins in Laurel, Maryland, on a Tuesday morning to wait for his signature. confirming that New Horizons had been to meet Ultima Thule.

The call was called at 10:31 a.m. EST: Spacecraft systems worked. The cameras and the register were marked in the right way.

"We have a healthy spacecraft," said Alice Bowman's working bar. "We've just finished the most remote aircraft. We're ready to install Ultima Thule – science science to help us understand the origins of our solar system."

At the control of confidence, and in the APL installations where the rest of the science team was watching, jumping people from the seats and broke them into. The boundaries of the recognized world were just pushed slightly further.

It was 30 years since its intention was first built outside the solar system. Thirteen years since the launch of New Horizons from the Canadian Spaniard Center, which was increasingly fired from the Land faster than any previous travel scrutiny. Three years since he met Pluto when the famous spacecraft was, and when the long-handed plane appeared to be a complex and colorful model. And it was 10 hours from 12:33 a.m., when the space space was expected to make the closest to its target.

"At this time, as long as we talk, New Horizons is worried," said Alan Stern, a project scientist, early on Tuesday morning.

Most of the other landscapes had been in & # 39; counting midnight and their champagne, but at APL, the accumulated sciences, the family and their friends were still in a position; wait. Immediately on the Kuiper belt, they knew, Ultima Thule had a & # 39; grow larger in the horizon of New Horizon, which shines as a full moon.

"Ultima Thule's New Horizons," Stern called.

No mar sin he hoped. The spacecraft was still too busy to send us any info home. When the status was updated, the long distance from Ultima Thule meant that it would take more than six hours to reach the light on Earth.

The sciences did not know Tuesday morning if New Horizons had succeeded. It will take days to solve the first sharp images, and months for all the data collected during the setting to last last.

But somewhere out in the dusky, which is very hard on the Kuiper belt, New Horizons already has a "#; Behave further to the distance, and the Ultima Thule decline in the back view.

This is the most common time for the New Horizons team since its spaceboat passed Pluton for three years ago, capture detailed detailed pictures of the planet extant.

Helene Winters, the mission project manager, said that sportspeople had been living on chocolate and his / her; sleep on an APL air bundle so that they would get most of each minute so that New Horizons could reach its target. The sailors watched a particular look at potentially difficult to find hazards in this corner of the solar system.

Ask if she was & # 39; Thinking he could sleep on Monday, Winters was laughing. "Ask again tomorrow."

Next morning, New Horizons staff sat in confidence, frightening control. Data from the Deep Space Network, a series of radio antennas used by NASA for communication with remote spacecraft, has been shown on their screen.

Bowman sat with his hands folded, bent on his computer.

"In green with telemetry," said Bowman.

In the APL hospital, where the rest of the team and their families watched, the people were disagreed.

Next quality study came: Design name. Energy – green. Integrated state-of-the-art records indicate where NASA was missing. The spacecraft was healthy. New Horizons had been done.

Beautiful Bowman.

It was a very suited to a show that started the previous night. APL's appearance was somewhere between the New Year party, a scientific conference, and a comic book collection. Researchers gave talks about the early history of the solar system. Scientists and their guests would play on a crudités in a room that was lit with flexible light lights. Small children were far beyond bed breaking times between chairs and sneaked biscuits from the buffet.

"This is like a real dream," said Chuck Fields, a podcast producer from Indianapolis who sent nine o'clock for a Monday event. It was decorated in a handsome glacier clear and portrayal of drawings of plans, galaxies and a & # 39; sun. His wife, Dawn, had equal pants.

"You can have Amazon," said Dawn with a smile.

Alan (Stern) said that this would be a celebration, "said Chuck." So it seemed, okay, sign up! "

Benjamin Holder, 5, and Mrs. is decorated over an image of New Horizons and the long-standing rock to meet.

"I would have a cat named Toolie," said Benjamin. "But the Thule rock you've not been named after my cat."

His brother, Erik Lessac-Chenen, smiled him. As a member of an optical spacecraft management team, he had played a better part of the past half a year to search for the "Thule rock".

NASA put over to time (completely certainty) of the event by counting down to 12 a.m. and a & # 39; distributing a plastic cup of champagne. Then, Brian May, a guitarist best suited to Queen Queen's song, wrote a song for the event.

"I'm not sorry," Stern said, with briefs until it happened. "No, no, no. We'll find out how everything was done in the morning."

New Horizons is the first NASA mission designed specifically for exploring the outdoor solar system – a division that Stern has; Convener "an amazing scientific thing." Out in the Kuiper belt, where sunshine is 0.05 per cent as strong on Earth and the temperature of the fire is almost nicely, the priority properties of plans have stopped without changed for 4.6 billion years.

"This is a history, what we do, in a much larger way," said Stern. Every picture that has been returned from New Horizons is the most distant photograph. Every move is beyond what NASA has done before.

Ultima Thule is also one of the most important features ever explored. Unlike planets, transformed by internal geological forces, and asteroids, which are heated by sunshine, Ultima Thule thought in "deep ice" since its inception.

"It's probably the best time capsule we ever had for understanding the birth of our solar system and the planets," said Stern.

The event with Ultima Thule is among the most difficult things that NASA has made an effort. The great distances from Earth and sunrise means that scientists need to build up long-term communication laws, and tools need to work with little light. Ultima Thule was discovered four years ago, and its burns and the environment are still not known. And it's been a 13 year drive. in New Horizons; its generator power generates just a quarter of a solitary balloon award, means that priority activists need to be carefully taken into account of the remaining fuel.

The distances and astronomers involved were involved in their minds. Ultima Thule 1 per cent requires Pluto size, and New Horizons four times closer to its image. At the time closer to the procedure ab & # 39; closer, the spacecraft was 32,000 miles per hour. His cameras would have to move to monitor Ultima Thule as the past; Despite this, all that it would be would be; see unhappy with the black.

The New Horizons team had several tests for the short meetings. Predictary detectors and dust were recorded to explore the environment around Ultima Thule. Three cameras of the spacecraft gave pictures in color and black and white in an attempt to map and decide the small world.

The project scientist, John Spencer, said Monday has a special interest in these colorful pictures, which could "brighten up" to clarify "cold classic classic belts" such as Ultima Thule, not on grow through geological change. Although these rocks should usually be made of ice, they are similar to red when viewed through Space Hubble. It may be that the definitions that change color when they hit cosmetic rays, Spencer said – maybe he hopes to break down by & # 39; look at a recent open source crack.

"Who knows?" He said. "Everything is possible when you're searching for a new class of a world you have never seen."

At this time, there were radio science exams. Six hours per closer method, the lines of the Deep Space Network – which NASA uses for communication with long spaceships – includes a powerful radio signal in Ultima Thule's guidance. The signal was extended to come to the rock at the same time as New Horizons on 1 January, which allows to & # 39; A spaceboat to explore how those radio waves get from the surface.

As APL staff started placing a plastic cup for a Monday champagne night, these symptoms runs to New Horizons and Ultima Thule – an old year message from this world, to the next year on a new one.

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