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New Horizons Has Launched

At 2:00 PM EST the New Horizons spacecraft launched successfully from Cape Canaveral. We're still watching the feed from NASA-TV, but everything looks good. The spacecraft will pass the Moon at roughly 11:00 PM tonight, eventually swing by Jupiter for a gravity assist, and in nine years will reach the planet (yes, I said planet) Pluto.

Thanks to everyone who joined me across the Internet as we watched the launch today.

I'll see you all back here in 2015.
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Earlier today I was going through a stack of old newspapers so I could clip out news scrapbook articles from them later (much later, as it turned out), and ran across the following the following piece from a January 2000 edition of the Washington Post: "NASA Scraps Pluto Mission For Now". :)
I was profiled in the Boston Globe on September 27, 1998. The article begins, "High school physics teacher Michael Burstein looked a bit anxious as he sat at a long black-topped desk. The smudged chalkboard behind him was filled with kinematics equations. It's taking too long, he explained, for the human race to learn what planets look like. The planned mission to Saturn in 2007 seems too far off. And Pluto? His curiosity is growing."

As I've been telling people, I've been waiting for this mission since the mid-1990s. I'm glad we got to Saturn early, however.
Now I don't have to squint through telescopes anymore. Or at least I won't nine years from now. :)

And my above line should have been "stack of old newspapers I saved so I could clip...", but anyway.

(I wonder if we have a copy of the Globe from 1998 here via Lexis-Nexis...)
I keep a copy of the article at http://www.mabfan.com/globe.html if you really want to read it.

(Anonymous)

Great launch

It was a great launch.

How were the SRBs arranged? I'd swear it looked like 3 on one side, 2 on the other, but that doesn't make sense. Does it?

Rob of UnSpace (http://www.unspace.net/)

Re: Great launch

I'm thinking it must have been the angle at which we were seeing the rocket.
My whole office clustered around my laptop starting at 1:55, watching the countdown and launch. It was very exciting. We all talked about where we were 10 years ago, and where we will be in 10 more years.
That's not a bad idea...
Successful third stage separation, if anyone's still watching...
Confirmation of spacecraft separation. Will reach Jupiter next year, Pluto in summer of 2015.
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