NASA’s New Horizons explorer successfully “phoned home” on Tuesday after a journey to the most distant world ever explored by humankind, a frozen rock at the edge of the solar system that scientists hope will uncover secrets to its creation.
The nuclear-powered space probe has traveled 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) to come within 2,200 miles (3,540 km) of Ultima Thule, an apparently peanut-shaped, 20-mile-long (32-km-long)space rock in the uncharted heart of the Kuiper Belt. The belt is a ring of icy celestial bodies just outside Neptune’s orbit.
China ‘lifts mysterious veil’ by landing probe on far side of the moon
A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space program.
The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon,the China National Space Administration said.
After historic flyby, New Horizons probe treks deeper on hunt for moons
After studying a space rock some 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from Earth, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft set off on a new hunt for moons in the solar system’s most distant edge,searching for clues on our solar family’s creation, scientists said on Thursday. The piano-sized probe is traveling deep into the ring of celestial bodies known as the Kuiper Belt looking for small, icy moons that spun off the snowman-shaped Ultima Thule formation, a pair of icy space rocks that fused in orbit billions of years ago.