NASA’s New Horizons is about to reach a very rare area, where the spacecraft reaches 50 astronomical units (AU) from the sun, a distance that only four other operational probes have achieved in the history of spaceflight, and this important event is an occasion to celebrate and appreciate the mission of the vehicle Especially since it gave humanity its first up-close look at Pluto before in July 2015.
According to the American “Space” website, there are a lot of reasons to look ahead about the craft, which although it has been traveling through space for 15 years, it is still in perfect health, and can continue to study the surrounding space areas for many years. coming.
New Horizons is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), which produces electricity from the heat emitted from the radioactivity of plutonium-238.
Most of NASA’s other deep space probes also occupied RTGs, including the four that crossed the 50 AU threshold, and include New Horizons – Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.
It is worth noting that the NASA New Horizons spacecraft in January 2006, and was assigned to perform the first-ever flight of Pluto, and the distant dwarf planet has been mysterious since it was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, and it only appeared as a blur in the best images that a telescope can collect NASA’s Hubble Space.
The spacecraft also exceeded its expected flight on July 14, 2015, as it came close to 7,800 miles (12,550 km) from the frozen surface of Pluto, and the observations made by the probe during this close encounter transformed Pluto from that fog to a real place, a diverse and impressive place, where It is characterized by high mountains of water ice.