NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft to Reach 50 Astronomical Units from Earth Written 16 April 2021


Artist's depiction of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft | NASA

SPACE reports that on Saturday at 8:42 p.m. EDT, NASA’s New Horizons “will reach 50 AU (astronomical units) from the sun – or 50 times the distance the Earth is from the sun.” Currently “in the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons” will become “just one of five spacecraft to reach 50 AU.” The milestone comes 15 “years after launching from Earth at a record speed, and six years since it became the first-ever spacecraft to fly by Pluto.” The only other spacecraft to reach 50 AU are Pioneer 10 and 11, and Voyager 1 and 2. Voyager 1, the farthest of these spacecraft, is currently 152 AU away from Earth. To mark New Horizons’ milestone, the spacecraft’s camera was pointed “in the direction of Voyager 1,” though, “at about 100 AU from New Horizons when this image was taken, Voyager 1 was too faint to be resolved.”
Full Story (SPACE)