NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft awakens for meeting with Pluto

epa04519708 An undated artist’s concept made available by NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI) on 08 December 2014 shows the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015. New Horizons was launched from Earth on 19 January 2016, is now three billion miles (4.82 billion km) away and spend nearly nine years in hibernation but has woken up, as scheduled, on 08 December 2014.The craft’s miniature cameras, radio science experiment, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and space plasma experiments would characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and large moon Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto’s atmosphere in detail, as well as have a look at the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft’s most prominent design feature is a nearly 2.1-meter dish antenna, through which it will communicate with Earth from as far as 7.5 billion kilometers away. EPA/NASA (JHUAPL/SwRI) HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++