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Enough speculation Pluto, time to see if you really are a planet.
January 17, 2006 2:53 AM   Subscribe

The New Horizons spacecraft will be the first man-made object to visit our controversial sibling planet. An Atlas V will be used to launch the craft to the fastest speed that man has ever hurled an object to the heavens. Due to this and the small size of Pluto, the probe will only be capable of one flyby. Today is the first day in the launch window that the rocket is hoped to be launched.
posted by Phantomx (69 comments total)

 
not even the Hubble Space Telescope can spot details on its rocky, icy surface.

just wondering... can't Hubble give us beautiful images of deep space objects, nebulas, etc.? Is my understanding of the scale of the Universe completely wonked or shouldn't Hubble be capable of this? Perhaps it's too close? i.e. in front of Hubble's focal point?
posted by medium format at 3:40 AM on January 17, 2006


Cool.
posted by dg at 3:51 AM on January 17, 2006


Doesn't Hubble rely heavily on exposure length to get those images?
An orbiting, rotating(?) planet wouldn't be a great target at any distance if that were the case.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:32 AM on January 17, 2006


didn't think about exposure times. thanks NinjaPirate.
posted by medium format at 4:57 AM on January 17, 2006


why?

i mean, this thing is "controversial" because it's hardly worth calling a planet. it's a chunk of rock much like all the other chunks of rock that are flying around out there.

i know the people at nasa are cute as little furry kittens, and that spending money to keep them fed is well spent, and that someone has to keep lockheed martin in business in case we ever want to blow lots of people up, but apart from that, is there any justification for this. from, for example, a science pov?

sure we might learn "something new", but there might be something new stuck up my ass. an anal probe for andrew would be rather cheaper than a $720 million mission to a rock. is this money really being well spent?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:03 AM on January 17, 2006


Well, we could always spend it on massive observatories in Chile. Biased much?
posted by bshort at 5:38 AM on January 17, 2006


Andrew Cooke, so we should disband all space exploration and turn the Hubble into ploughs?
posted by slimepuppy at 5:38 AM on January 17, 2006


Pluto, though no longer significant on its own, is still one of an entire emerging class of massive subplanetary bodies with large, eccentric orbits and primitive composition from the early eras of the creation of the solar system. What we learn from Pluto and Charon will be the first step in figuring out the nature of [ Kuiper Belt Objects / Trans-Neptunian Objects / Plutinos ] (pick one), their place in the solar system, and perhaps ours.

Plus, rockets and space probes are ubercool.
posted by brownpau at 5:46 AM on January 17, 2006


Pluto is hardly a "sibling" just because some choose (wrongly, IMHO) to call it a planet. Third cousin five times removed or something, maybe...but "sibling", no.

Mars is perhaps a sibling, and Venus as well. The rest are merely relatives of a more distant sort.
posted by spincycle at 5:51 AM on January 17, 2006


is there any justification for this. from, for example, a science pov?

We choose to go to Pluto, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

an anal probe for andrew would be rather cheaper than a $720 million mission to a rock.

We've already sent a probe to Uranus. One of the Voyagers.
posted by veedubya at 5:54 AM on January 17, 2006


biased much?

you might be surprised to know that one reason i left astronomy, apart from being bad at it, was that i thought it was a waste of money. if you search way back in sci.physics (or whatever it was called) newsgroups you'll see similar ad-hominen attacks on me, which date from just before i quit.

now i work in an observatory in chile, but not as an astronomer. this is "just a job" i happened to get because i'm qualified (i live in chile for other reasons). just because i work here doesn't mean i think americans are sensible to spend money on this. and, indeed, there is a significant possibility that it will be closed down.

however, if you want a scientific justification for observational astronomy rather than space exploration, i think the following is correct:

physics as we know it, on local scales, is pretty much understood. to get fundamentally new results you need to go to extreme conditions. extreme meaning near black holes, or at the start of the universe. you don't find conditions like that on pluto, but you can observe them from telescopes.

also, ground based telescopes (like where i work) are much more re-usable than space missions. you can use a telescope verey night of the year; you can continue to use it for years; it can study thousands and thousands of targets and is used by hundreds/thousands of astronomers. and it's cheaper than a single expedition to a planet, as far as i can tell.

so yes, i think astronomies are a questionable use of money. but i can see good scientific justifications for them and the cost/benefit argument is strong. in comaprison, this kind of mission to pluto is more like a bonfire of dollar bills. and i think it's very likely that it is driven by powerful political / monetary motivations rather than science.

so, again, what is the justification for this? do you have a reasoned answer or just the usual personal attacks?

fuckwits.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:56 AM on January 17, 2006


astronomies is a new word that is a combination of astronoemrs and observatories.

sorry for the spelling mistakes, but i'm tired and angry at the pathetic level of discussion round here. sorry to descend to your level, but you're a bunch of fucking retards.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:59 AM on January 17, 2006


Touché, andrew, touché.

Your comment on anal probing really does engage people to respond to you with rational arguments.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:04 AM on January 17, 2006


I was only trying a little levity to lighten the mood. Sorry.

Anyway, to answer your question from my own perspective. To me, the astronomy of this mission, or any of the deep system probes is secondary to the act of getting there. I've rarely been as thrilled by the pictures sent back, as by the knowledge that we (mankind as a whole) has managed to get a machine across the vast (in human terms) gulf of the solar system.

Sure, from a practical point of view, it's difficult (maybe impossible) to argue the scientific methods of sending a probe to Pluto. However, from the point of view of technical geeks pushing back the limits of achievement, this is a wow-cor-blimey thing to do.
posted by veedubya at 6:07 AM on January 17, 2006


Asking whether you're biased isn't an ad hominen attack, and neither is calling people retards or fuckwits. That's just rude. Good work raising the discourse around here.

Yeah, ground based observatories are nice and cheap, but you're never going to see the kind of detail that you will from space-based telescopes, and you'll never get the other data that come from probes.
posted by bshort at 6:13 AM on January 17, 2006


Pluto is NOT a planet, just the biggest damn Kuiper Belt Object we know of, and is NOT the only target for New Horizons. It will fly by several other KBOs to be determined in a couple years...
(I mean come on, we are hurtling an object an untold (well, NASA could tell you more accurately) number of millions of miles away from our planet, using gravity wells from other solar bodies to gain speed and will be (relatively) spot on to where they are sending it...it does have plenty of maneuvering room...regardless, the math involved in getting that right is truly awesome)
...since we will see which targets will be where just when we need them so we can skirt as many as possible with the least effort. Why do we do this? Because we can pops to mind first, but really, learning more about the Kuiper Belt will teach us more about the formation of our solar system, and what the hell stuff out there is made of, how old it is and how much of it is there. Space exploration rarely has many initial tangible benefits to us common folk, but more often than not the technology used in creating this *will* be of service in the not too distant future (satellites anyone?). I am proud we are able to launch such a precise instrument, built by multinational collaboration, to such a remote place.
posted by gren at 6:21 AM on January 17, 2006


This is dumb.
posted by wfrgms at 6:22 AM on January 17, 2006


Andrew -

We're going there because we can. You wouldn't be at your observatory in Chile had someone not wanted to explore that land centuries ago.
posted by tgrundke at 6:32 AM on January 17, 2006


Do astronomical knickers come pre-twisted?
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:38 AM on January 17, 2006


Er, well, Hubble has taken pictures of Pluto's surface, more or less. And the reason that Hubble can't get a better picture is because Pluto is really, like really small (all planets are compared to the objects out side our solar system we can see). And really far way. The wonderful, awesome pictures of deep space objects that Hubble gets are of objects that area larger visually.

Exposure times wouldn't be much of an issue, it would just take lots of pictures timed so they would get exactly the same side of pluto, but they're still limited by the resolution of the lens/sensor.

For example, Pluto is, it seems, between 0.04 and 0.1 (about) arc seconds, depending on how far way it is from us at the time. While the Horsehead Nebula, in that picture, is 0.68 arc seconds--for each pixel. And a total of 17x15 arc minutes. Remember: There are 360 degrees in a circle, then 60 arc minutes in a degree, and then 60 arc seconds in an arc minute. So 1 arc second is 1/3600 of a degree.
posted by skynxnex at 6:44 AM on January 17, 2006


you can use a telescope verey night of the year; you can continue to use it for years; it can study thousands and thousands of targets and is used by hundreds/thousands of astronomers. and it's cheaper than a single expedition to a planet, as far as i can tell.

And yet there are no clear pictures of Pluto by Hubble or any other ground base telescope system, as skynxnex pointed out. On that same argument, would we have known as much about say Mars, as we do now after sending over there to roam around and do some observational work for us rather than sit on our asses and lust after more information from an earth based observation system? What has the Cassini mission shown us? Yet more things we would have never known from our observations at home.

True, going out there to chip away at some rocks and make some observations is expensive and dangerous, but it's damn exciting to see exactly what is out there. Not only that, but what happens if we begin to find more information about how the universe came about and we can further deepen our understanding of this entire plane of existence? That alone is worth any price tag -- whether it be a ground based observation system or some robotic probe screaming past a distant Kuiper Belt object.

Yeah, I know, call me one of those space romantics at heart, but I'm also a scientist for the same reasons, because I find it rather exciting to be in a lab, trying out various ideas and seeing what works.

posted by rand at 6:59 AM on January 17, 2006


I guess to me the question about the utility of this mission needs to be compared against other deep space exploration investments, not against 'doing nothing' or ground based observatories. Through this lens, I think Andrew's question seems reasonable. In this era of really tight budgets etc (perhaps the genesis of this project is many years ago?) why wouldn't we be spending money exploring the Sun, Moon, Mars or things which seem to me (a layman) as being 'more practical' or of more immediate benefit?

To me, the position that 'well its not really important, but we learn alot by trying' doesn't seem to wash.

My question to the ones in the know: Is this clearly one of the research areas that have the most utility? or is it more a case that with many projects competing for research funding, and no clear quantifiable payoff from any of them until they are undertaken, that the most promising are selected by a very imperfect process and we do the best we can...
posted by sfts2 at 7:49 AM on January 17, 2006


We're going there because we can. You wouldn't be at your observatory in Chile had someone not wanted to explore that land centuries ago.

Someday we can build an observatory on pluto, and send andrew there.

Seriously though, what's wrong with going somewhere just to see what it's like? It's the only planet in our solar system we havn't at least done a flyby of, so once we get there we'll have sent probes to every planet in the solar system.

Who cares if it's a waste of money? The government wastes so much money on useless crap anyway why not do something cool?
posted by delmoi at 8:11 AM on January 17, 2006


The mission to Pluto, despite an adequate scientific reason to send a probe on a fly-by at reasonable expense, doesn't really inspire the imagination.

My list of things I'd like to see us do in the next 30 years:

1) Build a space elevator or one of those sled launchers up the side of a mountain near the equator to make inner-system travel easier.

2) Send probes to our nearest stars. Sure they'll take 40-100 years to get there, and the info they send back will take years to get here, but cool.
posted by stevis at 8:11 AM on January 17, 2006


1) Build a space elevator or one of those sled launchers up the side of a mountain near the equator to make inner-system travel easier.

People are looking into that, I still don't really think it's all that feasable.
posted by delmoi at 8:12 AM on January 17, 2006


There are several reasons why this mission make, at least some, sense now. As this Space.com article from 2000 points out, if the mission isn't launched in 2006, they'd have to wait more than ten years before another launch was possible. And only by launching the mission by 2006 would the probe have a chance of getting to Pluto before its thin atmosphere freezes solid in about 2020.

And of course, if we miss this window, we'd have to wait, oh a hundred years at least. I could foresee that studying the Kuiper Belt--this mission isn't just about Pluto--could have very real findings about comets, since most of the short period comets (less than 200 years) seem to come from the Kuiper Belt. (see later Space.com article about the Pluto/New Horizons mission).

And, it's going to get past the Moon in only 9 hours. That's pretty cool.
posted by skynxnex at 8:13 AM on January 17, 2006


Besides, from an economic standpoint it dosn't really matter what the government spends money on as long as a lot of it goes back to into the economy. If you look at NASA as a jobs program, it works very well.
posted by delmoi at 8:13 AM on January 17, 2006


I think that from an informational standpoint in regards to Pluto, the only thing we'll do is confirm that's it's a small icy rock. In response to Andrew Cooke though, whom I agree with, I think it's a matter of timing, the window of opportunity to settle this (somewhat expensive) question is rather narrow and so why not do it before we're forced to wait another hundred years longing for a decent answer. Also, it's an opportunity to try new technologies that could be used on other more useful and insightful missions, without putting those missions at risk by overloading it with unproven technologies. Finally, it's the only "planet" we haven't sent a probe to, and we have to collect 'em all!
posted by furtive at 8:31 AM on January 17, 2006


You space-program naysayers will all take it back when Pluto is found to be the home of the Alien Amazon Nymphomaniac Space Babes. You'll see.
posted by brownpau at 9:15 AM on January 17, 2006


Why is this mission important?

The theory is that Earth recerived much of its elements from rocks/debris slamming into it which originated in the Kuiper belt, of which Pluto is a part of. At first Earth was made up of the very basic and simple elements, and life wasn't able to start until it received some more special ingredients. Perhaps the very elements which make up our bodies came from Pluto, and if so, maybe we can learn a little more about them, and of course, US.
posted by afx114 at 9:45 AM on January 17, 2006


When we're not spending hundreds of billions of dollars on Iraq, maybe I'll worry about what we're spending on pluto.

Also,

MetaFilter: an anal probe for Andrew.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:17 AM on January 17, 2006


T-minus four minutes and holding. New launch time: 1:45 EST. Winds gusting above preset limits for no go. This is Atlas Launch Control.
posted by steef at 10:18 AM on January 17, 2006


Hm. They don't have it on CNNi yet, although EuroNews had it just now on their wonderful "No Comment" show. I'm stoked!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:29 AM on January 17, 2006


Oh dear.

The "is Pluto a planet" discussion is largely a semantic pissing match with the primary driving forces behind the debate having little to do with science. On the one side, you have a bunch of people offended by the possibility of dozens of cataloged "planet-like" objects. On the othe side, you have the people who demand that objects large enough to round themselves off should get special consideration.

furtive: I think that from an informational standpoint in regards to Pluto, the only thing we'll do is confirm that's it's a small icy rock.

At one time, many people made the same arguments about the moons of Jupiter. What we found with Jupiter and Saturn was a wide diversity of novel phenomena in geology and chemistry. Given that the supermajority of planetary missions have resulted in substantial revisions of theories about our solar system, it is probable that a Pluto flyby might upset things again.

Even if you hold the view that Pluto is just one of a multitude of similar objects, it is a member of a class of objects about which we have minimal facts, and which may be among the most common in our solar system and galaxy.

sfts2: Through this lens, I think Andrew's question seems reasonable. In this era of really tight budgets etc (perhaps the genesis of this project is many years ago?) why wouldn't we be spending money exploring the Sun, Moon, Mars or things which seem to me (a layman) as being 'more practical' or of more immediate benefit?

We've spent billions of dollars in the last two decades on the inner solar system, and a few more on Jupiter and Saturn:
Galileo: $1.6 Billion
Cassini: $3.3 Billion
Mars Rovers: $820 Million
Mars Global Surveyor: $210 Million
Magellan: $210 Million
Stardust: $200 Million

For those skeptical about the importance of a mission to Pluto, I'd point out that the close cometary missions have all delivered some pretty surprising findings about objects that are substantially better-known than Pluto. Pluto is likely to be substantially different from comets because of its gravity, atmosphere, and the fact that it has never visited the inner solar system.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:29 AM on January 17, 2006


Launch delayed until 2:10 pm. While we wait, an interview with retired schoolteacher Venetia Burney Phair, the girl who named Pluto.
posted by steef at 10:52 AM on January 17, 2006


“sorry to descend to your level, but you're a bunch of fucking retards.” - posted by andrew cooke

Man I love when I’m called a de-facto fucking retard and I haven’t even shown up yet. Thanks andrew cooke! And go fuck your mother in the ass!

...what, isn’t that how we’re supposed to communicate on the internets?

In some respects there are a lot of projects that are porky or ineffecient, but the one area I have little problem spending money on is science. At the very least it answers the question: “Can we ‘X’?”
Simulations just aren’t enough.

One might well ask since we have calculators, why should we force our brains through the rigors of learning mathematics?
(if one wasn’t generalizing and castigating large groups of people without reason).
So perhaps one might ask - why waste time with inefficient and wasteful politeness or cogent reasoning when I can force my point with profanity and insult?

This is so cool, thanks Phantomx
posted by Smedleyman at 11:29 AM on January 17, 2006


Delayed til 3:05 EST
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:50 AM on January 17, 2006


Steef, that's a really nice interview you found.
Cheers!
posted by slimepuppy at 11:58 AM on January 17, 2006


Delayed until 3:23 EST now. Which is the end of the launch window. So if the ground winds don't die down, it'll be delayed until tomorrow, I believe (they think the upper level winds are fine).
posted by skynxnex at 12:00 PM on January 17, 2006


Best part of this whole Pluto probe? The 435,000 names. Including Heywood Jablome, Seymour Butz and IP Freely . Sweet. Via.
posted by fixedgear at 12:09 PM on January 17, 2006


They're saying "Winds cooperate, launch is go" now, so that sounds promising.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:09 PM on January 17, 2006


The count down has begun, at T-4:00. They're going to be watching the winds during the count, and if they go over 33 knots, I think they said, they'll stop the launch. T-3:30 now.
posted by skynxnex at 12:20 PM on January 17, 2006


No go! Due to a "red line monitor fault" at T-2:34. No launch today. They're going to try tomorrow. They're in the process of turning it around now.
posted by skynxnex at 12:23 PM on January 17, 2006


Dammit.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:24 PM on January 17, 2006


Not a problem yet -- this window remains open until Feb. 2. After that, the trip takes longer and does less interesting things along the way, but we can still launch it up thru Feb. 15.

Better they're careful than risk losing the spacecraft.
posted by dhartung at 12:34 PM on January 17, 2006


We're going there because we can.
Also, every dollar spent on peaceful scientific research can't be spent on war.
posted by dg at 12:38 PM on January 17, 2006


Unless, of course, you just print more.
posted by Eideteker at 2:16 PM on January 17, 2006


KirkJobSluder put the case for New Horizons very well.

The objections here have been kind of weird. It makes sense to say "Why don't we spend money on a better replacement for the HST?", but to object to exploring Pluto on the grounds that you think it's not interesting is... wow, kind of mind-boggling. Pluto is still a huge mystery, and a mystery that is indicative of a huge part of our solar system. Hubble won't tell us much about Pluto, because it's so incredibly far away and so small. We really pretty much have to actually go there to find out about it.

The best objection to New Horizons that I've seen is that the spacecraft carries plutonium. (It has to -- nuclear power is the only power source that will work that far out from the Sun, where solar energy is so low.) If New Horizons goes kablooey in the upper atmosphere, it could be a real problem. And I think the chances of such a catastrophe weren't that low -- 1 in 400 or so, I think. But I think it's still worth the risk.
posted by jiawen at 10:32 PM on January 17, 2006


KirkJobSluder, I agree that the bulk of the people who spout off about the "is Pluto a planet" debate are nonscientists doing little other than attempting to show off the size of their Science Penis while actually having no idea what they are talking about.

However, I believe that among people who study such things, whether something is or is not a planet has real meaning beyond the stupid "is it big enuf?" debate. Labeling something a planet means, among other things, that it was formed in a certain way, so whether or not something is a planet has a real meaning in terms of structure and history, rather than merely being a meaningless semantic term.

Anyway, in terms of whether or not this kind of probe is worth the money and effort ... I think it is, but I do think that it's a question that can be reasonably asked. I'm a huge fan of research, even if the only gain will be knowledge rather than technology, but there have been and will be again costly projects of little merit, while people go hungry and schools crumble and so on.

Is this one of them? I don't think so. There are still a *lot* of unknowns about planetary science, and this is actually likely to glean a heck of a lot more information than "oh, look, it's a big ice and rock ball." That knowledge could eventually prove invaluable if we ever do want to get off this planet, but I also think it's worth it to have the knowledge just to know.

I also, however, think the hungry should be fed and the poor given medical care, but I'd much prefer to see that money come from what's currently being spent on pointless war rather than what's being spent on science ...

Incidentally, stevis, I am fairly sure we do not have anywhere near the technology necessary to get us to even the closest star in 100 years. I don't think we've come close to having any craft reach even 1% of the speed of light, which would put the closest star at still over 1,000 years away. I could be mistaken about that, but ... interstellar space is BIG.
posted by kyrademon at 12:14 AM on January 18, 2006


kyrademon: However, I believe that among people who study such things, whether something is or is not a planet has real meaning beyond the stupid "is it big enuf?" debate. Labeling something a planet means, among other things, that it was formed in a certain way, so whether or not something is a planet has a real meaning in terms of structure and history, rather than merely being a meaningless semantic term.

I disagree. If this debate was about real meaning in terms of structure and history, then we would not be using the same term to describe rocky inner solar-system objects and massive gas giants. If we are talking about structure, then the most sensible thing to do is to give up the planet/not-planet concept all together in favor of a theoretical classification scheme based on mass and composition. Like a periodic table of planetary objects with your iron-sillicon enriched rocky objects on the left, the hydrogen-dominated icy-gassy objects on the right, and increasing mass from irregular rubble piles to objects with increased gravitational layering.

In terms of history, arguing that a planet should have enough gravitational mass to dominate the region of space it inhabits seems to be an equally arbitrary way of defining the term. The inner solar system is loaded with minor objects in spite of the influence of Mars, the Earth and Venus.

It's rather obvious to my reading that this is primarily a political argument having to do with priority and funding. This is highlighted for me by the fact that historical precedent and squeamishness about expanding our beastiary of planets beyond the number nine are even issues.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:39 AM on January 18, 2006


jiawen: The odds of the rocket suffering some sort of catastrophic failure during launch (that is, blowing up) is about 1 in 350 or 400. The odds of release of the plutonium is smaller, as the container the plutonium is designed to handle explosions. An article on CNN about it, says there's a 1-in-620 chance of any release and a "1 in 1.4 million to 1 in 18 million" chance of a "release up to 2 percent of the plutonium on board the spacecraft." Which, with about 24 pounds of plutonium, makes that a release of ~0.48 pounds.

There is an AP article on Yahoo! about it that claims there's a 1 in 350 chance of release, but I'm pretty sure that's just the odds of a launch explosion (which they could assume would release a tiny amont of plutonium). The article on Yahoo! also says 72 pounds. So I'm not sure which is right.
posted by skynxnex at 7:15 AM on January 18, 2006


NASA stating "Go for Launch" at 1:08 PM EST today.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:46 AM on January 19, 2006


Delayed til 1:25. Get back in here guys!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:12 AM on January 19, 2006


I'm here! I'm here! They added another five minutes to check for boats and planes downrange. 1:30. C'mon! Million-dollar rocket, and they can't launch because the clouds are too low.
posted by steef at 10:19 AM on January 19, 2006


1:30. We'll see.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:20 AM on January 19, 2006


Hi steef! I thought I was talking to myself in here, for a moment.

Well, I'm no expert, but I guess it's good of them not to take any chances. Where did you read about the boats and planes? NASA is talking only about clouds.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:21 AM on January 19, 2006


Oh, and don't forget: live feed
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:22 AM on January 19, 2006


1:40? Argh. The kind gentleman narrating NASA TV's feed is translating the Range controllers' remarks. Apparently, every time there's a delay, they have to wait for a re-sweep downrange to make sure no one's wandered under the flightpath.
posted by steef at 10:31 AM on January 19, 2006


Thanks steef, I'm now actually *listening* to the feed instead of just staring at a pixelated white cigar. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:36 AM on January 19, 2006


At this rate, they're gonna be, like, forty-five minutes to an hour late getting to Pluto. They'll miss brunch. Range is go for 2:00 PM EST!
posted by steef at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2006


They'll miss brunch.

Yeah, it'll be cold!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2006


Counting!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:58 AM on January 19, 2006


Liftoff!!

Godspeed, New Horizons, for knowledge and humankind.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:01 AM on January 19, 2006


I got what I deserved.
MY LETTER TO MSNBC:
This morning, I waited and waited, watching the video feed, and then 3 minutes before the launch, you guys threw in a bunch of stupid commercials (which, by the way I NEVER watch, so please tell your Madison Avenue jerk off friends this). I missed the launch and had to reclick the link to see the craft already up in space. You guys suck: I will now post to metafilter.com.
posted by Diamornte at 11:20 AM on January 19, 2006


Yay! Thanks, goodnews. Thanks, Phantomx! Post it again for the Jupiter slingshot in 2007!
posted by steef at 11:23 AM on January 19, 2006


Good to see.
posted by Mitheral at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2006


YAY!
posted by bshort at 1:40 PM on January 19, 2006


For posterity's sake, I figured I'd throw this here...

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day - New Horizons Launches to Pluto.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:01 PM on January 24, 2006


Damn. Link to above should be
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060124.html
(accidentally linked to main page.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:07 PM on January 24, 2006


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