Pluto flybys will allow astronomers to piece together the composition of Pluto's surface.
An expert has said that embarking on a mission to Pluto after the New Horizons mission would be spectacular, since it could possibly be utilized as an observatory.
In July, The New Horizons mission team will get as close as they ever have to Pluto. The principal investigator of the New Horizons missions, Alan Stern, said the team will be getting everything ready to go for the mission in April.
Stern said: “We need to see what the results from New Horizons are, but I think a lander would be a spectacular mission to do next.”
April will be both an exciting and harried time for the team, as they go through their last simulated missions, navigation, correction of engine trajectory, and even a home burn to prepare fully for the Pluto landing.
New Horizons has been ready for its Pluto flyby since its launch in January 2006. When May rolls around, the images we will receive will be even higher quality than those from the Hubble. As time goes on, the pictures that are transmitted back to Earth will be of even greater resolution, the best anyone has ever seen of the planet.
One of the main reasons for the mission, is to be able to more accurately create maps of composition and geology. Not knowing exactly what they will discover when they arrive, makes the trip that more exciting for scientists.
The image resolution currently is far too blurry to be able to make out any distinct features of the planet, but in the next few weeks, clarity will take over, and the images should be nothing short of spectacular.
“Exploring is a wonderful thing than humans do. and I think New Horizon’s flyby of Pluto will be one of those historic events of the 21st century,” said Stern.