Follow along as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft nears Pluto

Would it surprise you to know that NASA is letting people follow the progress of its Pluto probe with an app?

It shouldn’t; apps are ubiquitous these days and NASA is – we’ve heard – pretty much on the bleeding edge when it comes to advancement through technology.

If you have a Mac or a PC, you can download and install NASA’s Eye application, and watch the New Horizons satellite as it approaches Pluto at a speed of just over 30 000 kilometres per hour.

It’s not exactly a live view, since the satellite is currently billions of kilometres away from Earth and that’s not technically possible. Instead, it’s a simulation that uses NASA’s own telemetry from the craft to give interested internet peeps a virtual view of where it is and what it’s currently “seeing”.

New Horizons was launched back in 2006 and sent hurtling towards Pluto. In just under two days, it will reach the closest point to the dwarf planet, from which it will capture hi-res photos and beam them back to NASA, giving the boffins there their closest, most detailed look at Pluto’s surface yet.

And who knows, maybe after all this scrutiny, Pluto will have its planet status re-instated. We can but hope.

Ain’t technology grand?

[Source – NASA]


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