Pluto is one of the farthest things from Earth in our solar system. It is indeed so far that it takes almost 248 years to complete one orbit around the Sun. The late time the Pluto was at the same exact place the French Revolution hasn’t happen. BTW Pluto is a geologically dead planet. The reach of the sunlight is so low that it is covered in miles of layers of ice.
New Horizons was launched on the 19th of January, 2006.

Pluto in most Detailed Form
  • It must orbit a star (in our case it’s our Sun)
  • It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape.
  • It must be big enough that gravity cleared away any other objects of similar size near its orbit around the Sun.


Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh on 18th February 1930 at the Lowell Observatory Arizona. He first theoretically calculated the existence of a ninth planet then went on to search for it with his telescope. Initially, like any discoverer, he did not have any success for a long time like a decade or so. Then on the 18th of February, he discovered our ninth planet through a technic of photographic plates combined with a blink microscope. People didn’t believe his finding at first but later on, it was confirmed by many other astronomers.


The orbital plane in which the planet orbits around the Sun is not the same as the rest of the planets, it follows an uneven path and the path is highly un elliptical in nature. The pluto doesn't have Sun in the middle of its orbit rather it the Sun is towards the left side in the orbit of Pluto.

Kuiper Belt in Perspective
Strange Movements of the Moons of Pluto


The primary aim of the mission was to take pictures of Pluto. New Horizons was the only mission that was sent to Pluto. It took 9 years to complete and was the fastest aircraft traveling through space. It only took 9 hours to pass the Moon (@30,000 Mph) as compared to the 8-day return journey of Apollo 11. The mission allowed to fly the spacecraft within 8,000 miles of Pluto’s surface, almost 30 times than the moon is to Earth.
But it was very sad to see that Pluto was dropped to be called a planet during the start of the mission but it was all worth it in the end.

New Horizons Spacecraft
The Actual Hubble Image of Pluto

Gravity Assist

By definition, it is the use of relative movement and gravity of a planet to alter the path and speed of the spacecraft. In other words a very advanced slingshot.
But mind you this assist pulls the spacecraft towards the planet but if the speed is greater than the gravitational pull of the planet it doesn't propose any danger to the spacecraft. In a worst-case scenario, it can make the spacecraft trapped in its gravitational field.
The larger the gravitational pull the greater the assistance.

Gravity Assist of another Spacecraft named Voyager 1


Insights from the Control Room
Complete Graphical Information About Pluto, A Must Watch
Simply Explained
Brilliant Video on Gravity Assist



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