Probe makes record-setting engine burn

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s1NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has performed a record-setting maneuver to adjust its approach to Pluto ahead of its historic flyby this summer.

“The new horizons probe fired its engines on Tuesday (March 10th), when it was 3,000,000,000 miles away from earth. No spacecraft has ever conducted at so greater distance from its handlers,” New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern said.

Tuesday’s engine burn was designed to slow New Horizons down by about 2.55 mph (4.1 km/h). The probe is currently traveling about 32,400 mph (52,140 km/h), mission officials said.

The burn was the first manoeuvre of New Horizons’ Pluto approach phase, which began in January. The trajectory correction should delay the spacecraft’s arrival in the Pluto system by 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

Isaac, Year 6

YJA Space Correspondent (Primary Schools)

 Heighington Millfield Primary Academy