Coming July 14th: Completing the Historic Era of Planetary Exploration

“Who knows what wonders await us?”  Probably not meeting extraterrestrials, sorry!

But don’t let that dissuade you from the universe of inorganic interest and intrigue for us inquisitive humans.

Also, common, let’s enjoy Pluto as a planet just a little longer, k?


“Nearly 300 days” since New Horizons left earth was … Jan 19th, 2006.

Remember 2006, not much has changed actually…Here’s Wiki on Jan. 19th 2006.


More on the Atlas V, the vehicle that launched New Horizons from Wiki…

“In its more than four dozen launches, starting with its maiden launch in August 2002, Atlas V has had a near-perfect success rate.”

“The Vulcan rocket is the replacement for the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets.”

Cost:

In 2013, the cost for an Atlas V 541 launch to GTO (including launch services, payload processing, launch vehicle integration mission, unique launch site ground support and tracking, data and telemetry services) was about $223 million.[40] In 2014 the ESA contracted ULA to launch the Solar Orbiter for around $173 million.[41] In 2015, ULA stated that a low-end Atlas V sells for about $164 million.[42]

Since around 2005, Atlas V has not been cost-competitive for most commercial launches, where launch costs were about $100 million per satellite toGTO in 2013.[43]


One more thing – 3000 days, 3 billion miles means the spacecraft has travelled 1 million miles per day.  Wow.

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