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Join Date: Dec 2004
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NASA Preparing to Launch Pluto Probe

09/01/2005 10:03 AM

ardslo writes:
NASA engineers have completed the final battery of tests of New Horizons, the Pluto probe. It remains on target for a January-February 2006 launch. However, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and an ad hoc Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Panel (INSRP) still needs to sign off on the project since its main power source is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), a nuclear power source. If all goes according to plan, new horizons will reach Pluto in 2015.

In related news, the US National Research Council has concluded that radiation particles and gamma rays given off by nuclear fission reactors in space will severely hamper astronomical surveying.

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