We did it! We made it to Pluto. It is very exciting to have followed a long-clock mission from start to finish, especially when we can use good science news. My blog post on the Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission from 9 years ago. NINE years ago.
The Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission is a 4-billion-mile journey to characterize the geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface composition and characterize the neutral atmosphere of this system. It is also a chance to study further the Kuiper Belt, an umbrella term for the space crud beyond Neptune and before our solar system ends. This “fastest spacecraft yet” took 9 hours to reach the moon after launch on 19 January, 2006 and is estimated to reach the Pluto-Charon system in July of 2015 (right before I hit middle age) and the rest of the Belt a few years after.