Icy mountains on Pluto and a new, crisp view of its largest moon, Charon, are among the several discoveries announced Wednesday by NASA’s New Horizons team, just one day after the spacecraft’s first ever Pluto flyby.
John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said:
“Pluto New Horizons is a true mission of exploration showing us why basic scientific research is so important. The mission has had nine years to build expectations about what we would see during closest approach to Pluto and Charon. Today, we get the first sampling of the scientific treasure collected during those critical moments, and I can tell you it dramatically surpasses those high expectations.”
Alan Stern, principal investigator for New Horizons at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, said:
“Home run! New Horizons is returning amazing results already. The data look absolutely gorgeous, and Pluto and Charon are just mind blowing.”
First high res image of Pluto is disturbing!!