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New Horizons is Already Halfway from Pluto to Its Next Flyby Target

05/05/2017 05:08PM

New Horizons is Already Halfway from Pluto to Its Next Flyby Target

Continuing on its path through the outer regions of the Solar System, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has now traveled half the distance from Pluto, its storied first target, to 2014 MU69, the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) that it will fly past on January 1, 2019. The spacecraft reached that milestone on April 3, 2017 when it was 486.19 million miles (782.45 million kilometers) beyond Pluto -- the same distance to MU69. I suppose that when you're making history at 32,000 miles per hour, time moves faster and distances start to shrink.


Comments:

<br>Interesting fact: New Horizons will never surpass Voyager 1 in its distance from the Sun because Voyager1 was boosted by multiple gravity assists that make its speed faster than New Horizons will travel. Voyager 1 is escaping the Solar System at 38,000 mph. New Horizons is travelling at 32,000 mph. Voyager 2 (36,000 mph), Pioneer 10 (27,000 mph), and Pioneer 11 (25,000 mph) are also travelling at escape velocities.