The Year of Pluto

The Year of Pluto

2015, Science  -   16 Comments
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Ratings: 8.95/10 from 130 users.

This year marks a landmark event in the history of space exploration. After a nine year journey across the deepest stretches of the galaxy, a specially designed rocket will glide past the distant planet of Pluto on 14 July 2015. The new documentary The Year of Pluto outlines the decades of preparation that have transpired to bring NASA to this milestone, and explores the possibilities of discovery that may lie in wait.

"For the first time ever, we will be able to fly by a brand new object," testifies James Green, Director of Planetary Science for NASA, "and understand what the outer parts of the solar system are all about." Our quest for understanding enjoyed its initial breakthrough in 1930 when the planet was first discovered by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. Knowledge of the region was further amplified in subsequent years as scientists uncovered the Kuiper belt - a wide swath of small formations and moons which surround Pluto.

What do Pluto and its moons look like, and what revelations await through a collection of data around their orbit? The hugely ambitious mission to find those answers began in January of 2006 as NASA mounted the New Horizons project. Originated by a small team of eager and endlessly curious researchers, New Horizons hopes to write the defining chapter on a region of space which has gone largely unconsidered.

"The thing that drew me to it the most was the fact that we knew so little," says Marc Buie, a lead co-investigator of the project and one of the film's many learned interview subjects. "Here's the frontier." The project has endured its fair share of challenges, including the construction of a new and revolutionary spacecraft and a careful consideration of the data to be collected in this initial groundbreaking voyage.

This moment in space exploration history has been hard fought, and is made possible by the tireless efforts of thousands of intensely inventive scientists, researchers, scholars and manufacturers. The Year of Pluto pays tribute to their sacrifice and determination while celebrating the unquenchable spirit that drives our search for the unknown.

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iWantMyIWantMyIWantMyPhD
iWantMyIWantMyIWantMyPhD
2 years ago

Only 1 token guy?
That ain't workin
And what's that? Hawaiian names?

Urban dweller
Urban dweller
5 years ago

Not ONE black person! An indicator of the systematic racism that continues in this country. Even if a student somehow managed to break through the system he/she would have to battle the mental state of a people bound by their profound belief that they are somehow superior. When they simply had seen and unseen, perhaps known and unknown advantages...again and again and again until they assumed their place in the world as superior. Others in the meantime dealt with meanness, segregation, assumptions of lack and inferiority again, and again and again. Sad state of affairs.

Spaceman
Spaceman
8 years ago

Check out on YouTube: ISS space station hoax watch with open mind

Scartera
Scartera
8 years ago

great job all involved.

Phred Blunt
Phred Blunt
8 years ago

More bovine excrement from NASA. They can't even get a rocket off the ground beyond the atmosphere, let alone go anywhere in 'space'.

I'd like some verifiable evidence, not fake pictures or data that can't be verified of directly observed.

Where are the stars in all their supposed 'space' pictures?

Time to put the comic books away and observe directly, the rest is heresay.

dmxi
dmxi
8 years ago

it will be interesting when it passes past pluto,deep into the oorth cloud where they suspect at least one unknown earth sized planet,causing a rift amidst all the asteroid debris.the infamous planet x,if you will.

Fabien L'Amour
Fabien L'Amour
8 years ago

Don't hold your breath, it will fly by on the 14th but it will take many days if not weeks to get a good portion of the data back to earth. An interesting article about the difficulties of communicating with New Horizons is titled "Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons".