New Horizons Event: The First Mission to the Pluto System
Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, speaks on a panel at the "New Horizons: The First Mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt" Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Monday, August 25, 2014. Scientists discussed how the first images of Pluto and its moons would be captured by the New Horizons spacecraft during a five month long reconnaissance flyby study starting in the summer of 2015. New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006 and is scheduled to make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
In 1977, Voyager 1 and 2 started their one-way journey to the end of the solar system and beyond, now traveling a million miles a day. Jimmy Carter was president when NASA launched two probes from Cape Canaveral. Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were initially meant to explore Jupiter, Saturn, and their moons. They did that. But then they kept going at a rate of 35,000 miles per hour. Each craft bears an object that is a record, both dubbed the Golden Records. They were the product of Carl Sagan and his team who produced a record that would, if discovered by aliens, represent humanity and "communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials."