“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.
- Al Jazeera airs an audiotape from Osama bin Laden saying al-Qaeda is making preparations for attacks in the United States but offering a “long-term truce” to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. (MSNBC)(BBC)
- Iran warns of a world oil crisis if sanctions are imposed over its nuclear program even as the United States and Europe struggle to get support for UN Security Council action. (AFP)
- President Jacques Chirac warns that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorism attack. (ABC News) (BBC)
- Two suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, leave at least 22 people dead and 26 wounded.(BBC)
- Italy will conclude its mission in Iraq by the end of the year, in the first clear timetable for Rome to withdraw its troops, says Defense Minister Antonio Martino. (ABC)
- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: At least 32 people are injured, including one seriously, when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonates himself at a food stand near Tel Aviv‘s central bus station. Palestinian Islamic Jihad‘s al-Quds brigades claims responsibility for the attack. It is the first terrorist attack of the year in Israel. (YNETnews)
- Isabelle Dinoire, the world’s first face transplant recipient, is using her new lips to take up smoking again, which doctors fear could interfere with her healing and raise the risk of tissue rejection. (CTV)
- A Slovak Antonov An-24 military aircraft carrying troops back from Kosovo crashes into a mountainside in northeastern Hungary, killing 42 people. Only one person survived. (CNN)
- A leaked memo from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office reveals that the British government had a strategy aimed at suppressing a debate about the US practice of transporting detainees to secret centres where they are at risk of being tortured. (Guardian Unlimited).
- NASA Pluto probe New Horizons successfully launches at 14:00 EST. (NASA) (BBC)
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.”
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. In 2014 the ESA contracted ULA to launch the Solar Orbiter for around $173 million. In 2015, ULA stated that a low-end Atlas V sells for about $164 million.
One more thing – 3000 days, 3 billion miles means the spacecraft has travelled 1 million miles per day. Wow.