How Long It Took To Reach Pluto?

Astronomy Science ~ Pluto's distance from the Earth more than 5 billion KM, we can only imagine to arrive there. But NASA's New Hor...

Astronomy Science ~ Pluto's distance from the Earth more than 5 billion KM, we can only imagine to arrive there. But NASA's New Horizons has traveled it and will arrive there in July 2015.

Pluto traveling in a highly elliptical orbit around the sun. At its closest point, which is known as "perihelion", Pluto is only 4.4 billion kilometers away. It was nearly 30 AU, or 30 times the distance from Earth to the sun. The last time Pluto reaches this point on September 5, 1989. In the most distant point, which is known as "aphelion", Pluto reaches a distance of 7.3 billion kilometers or 49 AU. It will take place on August 23, 2113.

Dwarf planet Pluto
Dwarf planet Pluto
Light takes 4.6 hours to travel from Earth to Pluto. If you want to send a signal to Pluto, it would require 4.6 hours for your transmission reaches Pluto, and then an additional 4.6 hours longer so that they arrive to your message.

Let's talk about spaceships. When the New Horizons was launched from Earth, he drove 58,000 km / h. Just for comparison, the astronauts in orbit just moving with a speed of 28,000 km / h. It speeds away from Earth. When you add speed of the Earth, New Horizons is moving away from the sun at the speed of 160,000 km / h.

Unfortunately, the gravitational pull of the Sun slow down New Horizons. At the time it reaches Jupiter, this vehicle moves only 68,000 km / h. But he was able to steal a little speed of Jupiter and pick up speed again reached 83,000 km / h. When it reaches Pluto, he will drove about 50,000 / hour. So how long this trip last?

New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006 and will reach Pluto on July 14, 2015. If you count them, you will find that it takes 9 years, 5 months and 25 days. Voyager spacecraft traveling from Earth to Pluto takes about 12.5 years, although Voyager does not actually fly past Pluto. And Pioneer spacecraft takes about 11 years.

Can you get to Pluto faster? Of course. With a more powerful rocket, and spacecraft is lighter weight, you certainly can cut flight time. But there are some problems. Expensive rockets, rocket greater coincidence would be more expensive. Another problem is if you get to Pluto faster, meaning more difficult to conduct science once you reach the dwarf planet.

New Horizons made the fastest trip to Pluto, but it will also flew by the planet at a speed of 50,000 km / h. With speed like that, just a little time to take high-resolution images. And if you want to really go into orbit around Pluto quickly, you will need more rockets to reduce speed.

So how long does it take to get to Pluto? Approximately 9-12 years. You might be able to get there faster, but you only have a little time to do the work of science and clear, it would be futile.

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AstroNation: How Long It Took To Reach Pluto?
How Long It Took To Reach Pluto?
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