An exhilarating, pioneering journey came to fruition on July 14, 2015, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its successful flight through the Pluto system, recording 60 gigabits of data that it is beginning to send to Earth. I’m Stuart Robbins, a post-doc at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. While I only came onto the project relatively late – in 2
012 – I’ve been able to interface with many different groups and people on New Horizons because my primary role was in planning.
The New Horizons mission is one of opportunity, not just in exploring a world in a region to which we’ve never been, but also for people who have a variety of backgrounds, interests and skills. One of my hobbies has been exploring computer-generated images and animations, and I volunteered to create the fly-through animation on this page.
The Pluto system as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft saw it in July 2015. This animation, made with real images taken by New Horizons, begins with Pluto flying in for its close-up on July 14; we then pass behind Pluto and see the atmosphere glow in sunlight before the sun passes behind Charon. The movie ends with ...