Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Closer Look at Jupiter

As the rest of you geeks may know (Brian), the New Horizons probe was launched last January on its 14-year trip to be the first man-made object to visit Pluto and its 3 moons. It is slated to arrive on July 14, 2015, at which time I will be 39, Lilah will be 8, and Harley will still be 29.

The probe is making a quick stop at Jupiter to do what's called a gravity-assist and increase its speed. This speed boost reduces the legnth of the trip by 3 years. When it finally arrives at Pluto, it will be 3 billion miles from Earth, with radio signals taking 4.5 hours to reach us.

Fourteen years might sound like a long time, but this probe is moving fast! After Jupiter, it will be going 52,000 miles per hour. And consider this: it took the probe only 9 hours to get from the Earth to the Moon; the Apollo missions took 3 days.

The probe has the most sohosticated equipment ever sent into outer space and should provide some amazing imagery. I can't wait!

P.S. My previous Star Trek blog has nothing to do with this posting.

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