One of the most amazing things to happen in 2015 was NASA’s New Horizon mission arriving at Pluto after traveling billions of miles as one of the fastest human-made objects ever.
With such speed that it could not enter orbit around the planet, the people who designed, built and flew the craft had only a few minutes on station – after a 9 year flight – to capture the most detailed data and imagery.
And they nailed it, a stunning accomplishment for which info is still being sent across the void of space (over 4hrs transmission time at the speed of light…)
There have been many fantastic images published to date, but this recent close-up felt oddly familiar, a color composite featuring a mountainous region against a flat plain covering about 170 miles – the same distance from San Diego to Yuma…
I’m back driving my beat-up Mustang, dropping out of the mountains across the desert, monitoring the mechanical systems, changing fuel pumps in parking lots, at a time before cell phones, when a break down in Borrego felt like outer space.
So as the New Horizons probe hurtles toward the Kuiper Belt, and Pluto finally completes a single solar orbit that began in 1768, lets raise a toast to the many circles around the sun we’ve enjoyed, and here’s wishing everyone a fantastic 2016!