CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft got humanity’s first up-close look at Pluto on Tuesday, sending word of its triumph across 3 billion miles to scientists waiting breathlessly back home.
Confirmation of mission success came 13 hours after the actual flyby and, after a day of both jubilation and tension, allowed the New Horizons team to finally celebrate in full force.
“This is a tremendous moment in human history,” John Grunsfeld, NASA’s science mission chief, said at a news conference.
Principal scientist Alan Stern asked the entire New Horizons team in the audience to stand: “We did it! Take a bow!”
The unprecedented encounter was the last stop on NASA’s grand tour of our solar-system’s planets over the past half-century. The journey began 9
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.