A Long Way from Home
NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has crossed the orbit of Neptune. This is its last major crossing en route to becoming the first probe to make a close encounter with Pluto in just under a year – on July 14, 2015. The spacecraft launched in January 2006, when I was working with NASA establishing Red Planet Capital. Of course, back then we still considered Pluto to be a planet.
Since its launch, New Horizons has traveled nearly 2.75 billion miles in just eight years and eight months – all managed by the terrific team at JPL in Pasadena. New Horizons’ milestone matches precisely the 25th anniversary of the historic encounter of NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft with Neptune on Aug. 25, 1989.
New Horizons has been Here is an artist’s rendering of New Horizons as it passed Neptune: