Something about Pluto
The first to pick up the signals from the probe New Horizons will not be NASA technicians, but experts working at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) CSIRO, which then will send the images directly to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). And the company has started the initiative Pluto Time.
We, missing very little arrival of NASA’s New Horizons in the orbit of Pluto . At 13:49 (Italian time) we could say officially that he had explored the entire solar system (at least all the planets), a company that began more than 50 years ago and that certainly will not end with this mission. But the first to pick up the data from the probe (launched January 19, 2006 from Cape Canaveral) will not be NASA technicians, but experts working at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) CSIRO , which then will send the ‘picture directly at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
After 3462 days of the mission, the world will finally know how it’s done Pluto, how big, how to make up its atmosphere and how it interacts with the solar wind. All from 12,500 km from the surface of the dwarf planet (Pluto no longer a planet since 2006). The NASA probe will study in detail even the system of five icy moons orbiting Pluto 134340 (his real name), the first to be studied is Charon, which is also the largest (forms a binary system with the planet nano), slightly smaller than Pluto; follow Hydra and Night, discovered in 2005 and almost similar in size; Finally came Styx and Cerberus, the smaller satellites of Pluto, the last to be discovered.
RADIO SILENCE – New Horizons is now in radio silence this morning at 5:15 (Italian time), after the last communication sent to Earth, the E-Health 1. The next time the technicians will have news from the satellite will be at 3 tomorrow morning, when the probe “speak” for 18 minutes but did not send any pictures. Only we know his exact location and we will be sure that survived the flyby (although the risks are very few).
THE ROLE OF AUSTRALIA IN THE MISSION – As mentioned will be healthy for the first Australians to Pluto. When communications will be back up to speed, the data will arrive on Earth in a matter of four hours and a half and will be processed by CDSCC, which is part of the Deep Space Network of NASA. CDSCC is one of three monitoring stations around the world can provide the vital radio contact to “return” probes such as the New Horizons to such incredible distances from Earth. “We monitored the New Horizons since its launch in January 2006 and now we are receiving the latest images and telemetry from the spacecraft which allows the mission team to make decisions about the course corrections to begin scientific observations,” said director the CDSCC and Kruzins.
Given the time it takes the signal to reach the Earth, the data will be incredibly weak, almost small whispers. However due to the high sensitivity of the great parable of CDSCC, the signal from Pluto will come through loud and clear. New Horizons will collect so much data that it will take a year to pass them all and consequently also to process them. Lewis Balls, head of Astronomy and Space Science at the CSIRO, he said the New Horizons mission was one of the largest exploration of our time. “There is still so much we do not know, and not only on Pluto but also on similar worlds,” he added. “Reaching this part of the solar system has been a priority for years, because it keeps the bricks with which it was built the solar system,” frozen “for billions of years.”
Although Pluto has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, it is one of the objects that can tell us more about the origins of our planetary system. “CDSCC has been involved in much space exploration, from the images of the first moon walk to the breathtaking views from the surface of Mars, through the close-ups of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,” said Balls. “Observe Pluto will be the keystone of this beautiful space adventure.”
THE FIRST IMAGES OF PLUTO ARRIVE BY ROSETTA – Two weeks ago, on Sunday, July 11th, OSIRIS, the camera mounted on ESA’s Rosetta, took three pictures of Pluto at the edge of the Solar System. More than three hours of exposure and a method of image processing very sophisticated were needed to achieve these three shots, from a distance of more than five billion kilometers. Pluto is so far the body in the solar system that Rosetta has ever looked.