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NASA turns lights again on for New Horizons mission to Ultima Thule
CLOSENASA turns lights again on for New Horizons mission to Ultima Thule

NASA’s unmanned New Horizons spacecraft, now zooming into outer house past Pluto, will fly by a small house rock referred to as Ultima Thule on New Year’s Day. USA TODAY

Within hours for the reason that information broke that the partial authorities shutdown would throw a cloak of digital silence over the historic mission to the farthest planetary physique ever explored, NASA introduced it might flip the lights on and broadcast New Horizon’s New Year’s Day flyby of Ultima Thule.

On Thursday evening, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine despatched a tweet to his tens of 1000’s of followers that NASA’s New Horizons social media accounts will proceed working regardless of the shutdown for the reason that actions had been “forward funded.”

Though there appears to be no finish in sight to the partial authorities shutdown and there are at present solely three,000 NASA workers working or “on call” with out pay, NASA will nonetheless have its social media accounts and NASA TV working for the primary shut have a look at Ultima Thule subsequent Tuesday. 

On Dec. 26, NASA and NASA New Horizon’s twitter account each tweeted out letting the general public know to comply with updates of the mission with their companion, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as an alternative of their very own. 

New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern confirmed to FLORIDA TODAY Friday that NASA’s social media accounts had been going to be again on-line for them. Stern had instructed FLORIDA TODAY Thursday it might be a disgrace if this memorable mission could be stored in the dead of night because of the authorities shutdown. 

“It’s the farthest exploration of worlds in history and without NASA able to get the word out, I think it’s going to be very much diminished for the public and that’s an unintended consequence of this shutdown,” he mentioned. 

If all goes in line with plan, on New Year’s Day, Pluto will now not be probably the most distant piece of rock in our photo voltaic system on which we have forged our eyes. The plucky little probe — not a lot larger than a grand piano — is ready to repair its cameras on Ultima Thule, a planetary physique in regards to the dimension of Orlando in a area past Pluto.


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It would be the most distant and primitive object to be explored by humanity but and can deliver scientists one step nearer to understanding the formation processes of how our photo voltaic system fashioned billions of years in the past.

Though individuals can now proceed to benefit from the protection by means of NASA’s New Horizons twitter account and NASA TV, APL will proceed offering protection in their very own YouTube channel, in addition to with Stern’s private twitter account and New Horizon’s account. 

People can tune into Stern’s twitter feed at @NewHorizons2015 or @AlanStern for dwell updates of the mission. APL may also broadcast on Periscope subsequent week because the spacecraft approaches Ultima Thule and other people can watch dwell press conferences beginning Dec. 31 on their web site (

Contact Jaramillo at 321-242-3668 or Follow her on Twitter at @AntoniaJ_11.

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CLOSENASA turns lights again on for New Horizons mission to Ultima Thule

Chris Pratt talks about New Horizons flyby to most distant object in our photo voltaic system NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

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