Funding Pluto

Topics: NASA, Jupiter, New Horizons Pages: 2 (835 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Funding Pluto
Since 1970, NASA has been planning to send a spacecraft out to explore the outer limits of the solar system. Scientists believe they can learn more about the plants and the evolution of the solar system by exploring Pluto and the Kuiper belt. There is not enough new information that we will learn from exploring Pluto and the Kuiper belt. NASA has spent too much time and money on missions to Pluto. In the early days of space exploration a mission to Pluto was actually a main focus for NASA. Between the 1970’s and 1980’s NASA planned to launch four probes that had the possibility to fly pass Pluto all went well voyager 4 would have been the first space craft to fly pass Pluto on March, 9 1986. Budget cutbacks cancelled two of the four voyager probes. Meaning millions of dollars and valuable time spent on two probes that would never see the darkness of deep space. NASA has made it a habit of spending millions even billions of dollars on space probes only to have congress cut the budget or cancel the project completely. Voyager 1 had a chance to fly pass Pluto. Scientist instead chose to study Jupiter and Saturn’s moons. Flying past both moons io and triton brought voyager 1 so close to Jupiter causing the probe to gain so much speed it could not be redirected to Pluto as it flew pass Saturn. Voyager 2 was designed to follow the same flight path as voyager 1 this time the journey passed Jupiter was a lot smoother. Unfortunately, Neptune was not in the right position for voyager 2 to be directed to Pluto. Changing the direction would have put the probe right into the path of Neptune’s atmosphere burning it up. Visiting Pluto was out of reach once again. In 1976, scientist discovered Pluto has an atmosphere of methane frost followed by a discovery in 1978 of Charon a large moon. Voyager 2’s flyby in 1989 revealed that the moon triton has active geysers on its surface. Scientist have said that Pluto has the same characteristics of the moon triton....
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