Questions tagged [pluto]

Questions regarding exploration of the Pluto-Charon dwarf planetary system.

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29
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4answers
4k views

Requirements to orbit Pluto

I have seen this question posed often recently, without a satisfactory answer in my opinion: Why won’t New Horizons orbit Pluto? The answers I read are always along this line: too much fuel too ...
14
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1answer
1k views

What is a “Sailboat Island of Stability”?

The New Horizon's team, in response to an announcement of a press conference from the Hubble team, posted some speculations as to what the press conference might be about. On the list includes "Small ...
25
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3answers
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Why doesn't the New Horizons probe fly any nearer than 10,000 km from Pluto?

New Horizons is intended to pass within 10,000 km of Pluto on its flyby on July 14. This will give a maximum resolution on the surface of 50m per pixel. This seems to me a bit of a waste, when it ...
26
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2answers
68k views

What is the fastest speed ever reached in space travel as measured from the point in space from which it was launched to its current/final position?

Answers.com lists the New Horizons to have the fastest rocket. Is this info still valid? 7 light hours in 11 years at 50,000 km/h?
20
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1answer
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At what approximate distance will the New Horizons spacecraft resolve Pluto better than the Hubble Space Telescope?

As of July 2013, the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) can resolve Pluto and Charon as separate objects. From what I've read, it will still be some time until the spacecraft is ...
12
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2answers
22k views

How are New Horizons images sent back to Earth?

I'd like to understand how does New Horizons space craft send its data back to Earth, billions miles away from it. I read in a Time article: "Also, at the distance of Pluto, we can only send data ...
22
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1answer
5k views

Why didn't Pioneer 11 visit Uranus/Neptune, and why didn't Voyager 1 visit Pluto?

The following image from NASA shows the flight paths of Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, and Voyager 2, as well as the positions of the outer planets. It seems to me that with a little tweaking of ...
12
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1answer
582 views

How long have we known Pluto is red?

Recently the New Horizon's satellite has given us some lovely color images of Pluto. When did we first discover that Pluto is red? Secondly, did we suspect its color was red before we were able to ...
16
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1answer
6k views

Operating system of New Horizons spacecraft

I've been doing some searching and I can find some technical details about the flight computer of the New Horizons spacecraft. What I've found is: It has a Mongoose-V 32-bit CPU (a radiation hardened ...
15
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2answers
3k views

How much longer would New Horizons take to reach Pluto without the Jupiter slingshot?

A recent answer by PearsonArtPhoto claims: New Horizons was launched at Solar System Escape Velocity, meaning it could have visited anywhere beyond Earth without stopping. It did visit Jupiter, ...
11
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1answer
558 views

Did New Horizons capture enough of Pluto's surface to create its global map?

Given the short amount of time that New Horizons focused on Pluto, did it capture enough of its surface to create a global map of it?
10
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5answers
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Pluto's satellites other than Charon orbits around Pluto or center of gravity between Pluto and Charon?

As the center of gravity between Pluto and Charon is outside Pluto does Pluto's satellites other than Charon such as Nix, Hydra, Kerberos or Styx orbits around Pluto or the COG?
8
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2answers
405 views

Use Pluto's gravitation to reach the next dwarf planet

Why doesn't New Horizons fly by nearer to Pluto so the gravitational pull would slingshot the probe to one of the next dwarf planets in the outer solar system (Eris, Haumea, Makemake,...)? I would ...
4
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1answer
744 views

When New Horizons is closest to Pluto, how fast will it be going (km/s)?

I've been googling this question because I haven't seen the answer anywhere, yet I know it must be calculated with a high degree of precision. Anyone know if it will be faster or slower than its 13.8 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What would happen if an Apollo astronaut landed on Pluto?

Pluto seems to be composed of Nitrogen and other ices that would be fluid or gaseous at higher temperatures. So what would happen if an astronaut using an Apollo era space-suit (crucially with that ...
8
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2answers
977 views

Can New Horizons be turned into an orbiter for the Pluto system?

If the New Horizons team doesn't find a KBO target for the probe, can they turn it into an orbiter for the Pluto system? I know entering orbit right now would be impossible, but would it be possible ...
7
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1answer
244 views

How tall are Pluto's mountains? Are they the tallest ice features in the Solar System?

The Gizmodo article It Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean shows a large image of pluto with obliquely lit peaks near both the terminator and the edge of the disk where the topography is really ...
4
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2answers
251 views

Do New Horizons Pluto flyby results justify an advanced orbiter mission to the Pluto-Charon system?

It's going to be another year before all of the data that New Horizons gathered is finally transmitted to Earth, but based on current science return, does what's been received so far warrant an ...
4
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0answers
46 views

What determined the closest-approach distance between New Horizons and Pluto? [duplicate]

New Horizons passed 7,750 mi (12,472 km) from the surface of Pluto at its closest approach, limiting the image resolution to about 600 feet (183 m). What set the specific closest-approach distance? ...