NASA's New Horizons Begins Pluto Approach Phase-2 for July Encounter

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The spacecraft has enetered Approach Phase 2 earlier this month, swinging the mission’s science observations into high gear. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

If one were to characterise NASA’s New Horizons mission, it […]

Getting Closer! New Horizons Sees Two of Pluto's Smaller Moons for First Time

Long-exposure images taken by New Horizons between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8, 2015, showing the two tiny moons Hydra (inside yellow diamond) and Nix (inside orange diamond). Image Credit: Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The New Horizons spacecraft, on course for a historic encounter with Pluto this summer, is […]

New Horizons Sends Back New Photos of Pluto on Clyde Tombaugh's Birthday

Two new images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, taken on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

As the New Horizons spacecraft continues speeding toward its rendezvous with Pluto this summer, it has just sent back new photos […]

Hubble Reveals Three Potential Deep Space Objects for New Horizons to Explore After Pluto

An artist’s impression of a Kuiper Belt object (KBO), located on the outer rim of our Solar System at a staggering distance of 4 billion miles from the Sun. A HST survey uncovered three KBOs that are potentially reachable by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after it passes by Pluto in mid-2015Image Credit: NASA, ESA, […]

'Something Wonderful!': Preparing to Illuminate the Realms of the Planetary Underworld—An Interview With Dr. Alan Stern

A computer-generated impression of the view from the surface of Pluto. The Sun looks like a very bright star on the sky (upper right), while Charon, Pluto’s biggest satellite, looms large near the horizon (at left). Next year, NASA’s New Horizons mission will replace our artistic impressions of the planet and its moons with […]

Knocking On Hades' Door: T-Minus One Year Before NASA's 'New Horizons' Begins Encounter With Pluto

A Hubble Space Telescope image of Pluto and some of its moons. The New Horizons mission is just a year away from providing us with photographs that will greatly surpass the best images of Pluto that Hubble could ever capture. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto […]

New Horizons Message Initiative Hopes to Send Self-Portrait of Humanity to the Stars

Image Credit: New Horizons Message Initiative (www.newhorizonsmessage.com)

To date, all four of the spacecraft NASA has blasted into the unknown depths of the outer Solar System have carried some kind of message from Earth to the stars. Pioneers 10 and 11, as well as Voyager 1 and 2, all carry an interstellar message from […]

Pluto's Unnamed Moons Given Names by IAU

Two newly discovered moons orbiting Pluto have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union. Image Credit: NASA / STSci

Two of Pluto’s small moons, previously known just as P4 and P5, have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Pluto is the god of the underworld in classical mythology, […]

Undiscovered Country: Of New Horizons and the Kuiper Belt

Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, seen here in an image from the Voyager 2 flyby, is thought to be a captured Kuiper Belt Object. Photo Credit: NASA.

Starting at about the orbit of Neptune and stretching out to roughly 50 astronomical units (1 AU = Earth-Sun distance), or 7.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, is […]

Northrop Grumman Completes Golden Spike Lunar Lander Study

An early conceptual design for a lunar landing craft, envisaged by the Golden Spike Company. With Northrop Grumman’s involvement, the start-up company can boast a partnership with the only organization ever to successfully develop and fly a piloted lunar landing vehicle. Image Credit: Golden Spike Company

More than four decades since its last human-piloted […]