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March 6, 2021
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PLUTO
(2007-04-18)
(wgvu) - NASA THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED PLANS TO CONDUCT FOUR SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCHES THIS YEAR, THE FIRST JUNE 18th. BUT ATLANTIS
AND DISCOVERY WON'T BE THE ONLY CRAFT ON A MISSION.
SOMEWHERE IN THE FAR REACHES OF SPACE THE OTHER SIDE OF JUPITER IS A GRAND PIANO-SIZED SPACECRAFT CALLED NEW HORIZONS. AND IT'S HEADED FOR A RENEDEVOUZ AT THE VERY EDGE OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. LAUCHED IN JANUARY OF 2006, NEW HORIZONS IS ON ITS WAY TO A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE EX-PLANET PLUTO. TOM STRICKWERDA IS A MEMBER OF THE TEAM THAT DESIGNED THE PROPULSION SYSTEM FOR THE SPACECRAFT. HE SAYS PLUTO IS THE ONLY PLANET OR EX-PLANET THAT WE'VE NEVER GOTTEN CLOSE TO. IF ALL GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN, THE PLUTO FLYBY WILL HAPPEN IN JULY 2015. ALSO QUIETLY IN THE WORKS, A MISSION TO THE INNERMOST PLANETARY REACHES OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, MERCURY. STRICKWERDA SHARES HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROJECT IN A PRESENATATION TONIGHT AT 8 AT THE PUBLIC MUSEUM OF GRAND RAPIDS.
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