New Horizons Healthy, Outbound From Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft (Credit: JHUAPL/SwRI)
New Horizons spacecraft (Credit: JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has survived its flyby of Pluto. All systems were reported as nominal and controllers have confirmed the spacecraft recorded data today during its close encounter with Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

New Horizons sent signals back to controllers in Maryland some 13 hours after its closest approach to Pluto. The spacecraft was out of touch as it performed a sophisticated set of measurements and observations with its seven scientific instruments.

It will take controllers 16 months to download all the data recording during the flyby. New Horizons is headed for the Kuiper belt, where it will conduct a flyby of an object there.

Officials say the spacecraft has enough fuel on board to last another 20 years should New Horizons remain healthy.