After being under the gun to get the spacecraft built within a time frame that would cut the voyage to Pluto by four years, taking off in 2006, then traveling 9+ years in space over the course of more than 3 billion miles faster than any thing made before it, New Horizons makes history by exploring a planet never seen this close by mankind along with its five moons!
Cheers erupted as New Horizons began to communicate with Earth again after being silent for 22 hours because it was programmed to be totally focused on collecting data of Pluto as it flew by! Currently, most of the data remains on the spacecraft and will take quite some time to transmit it all back to earth. The highest resolution taken so far of Pluto will be released sometime on Wednesday. What an amazing day, what an amazing accomplishment with this intelligently designed spacecraft!
Encounters like these always presented a challenge for those who believe the solar system is billions of years old. Many predictions have been made on that belief. Pluto is no different…
“Once considered an icy, dead world, the planetoid has yielded signs of geological activity, with evidence of past and possibly present-day tectonics, or movements of its crust.”
“This is clearly a world where both geology and atmosphere climatology play a role,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons lead scientist, with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He noted that it appears that nitrogen and methane snow fall on Pluto.“
More challenges may include once the data has been transmitted back to Earth: atmospheric escape rates of molecules are found to be too rapid to sustain for billions of years making a confirmation for a younger Pluto than what is believed among secular scientists. This will in turn create a team of planetary scientists who will work hard to come up with something which would put it back to billions of years.
The measurements of Pluto’s atmosphere will be an interesting one especially for creationists. Another challenge that may present itself is…the data will not confirm the moons were formed by collision causing another team of scientists to come up with a way to preserve a popular idea using collision as a cause on how those moons had formed. Unlike Mars, they will be no search for life on Pluto, however, speculation may emerge about life on Pluto in its supposed very distant past, perhaps as a selling point to go to Pluto again. In any case, they don’t need to use a selling point like that, we ought to explore Pluto again, maybe next time send two probes: one that could go in orbit and another on the surface of Pluto!
We are certainly living in some amazing times with all this space exploration, thanks to the Lord :)