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King of the Kuiper Belt!

The day has finally arrived when New Horizons will fly past Pluto at its closest point, enabling it to take the most detailed high resolution images and study the surface of this dwarf planet than scientists have ever been able to do before.

 

The children were delighted to welcome back Mr Hindmarch of Mott MacDonald, who, nearly nine years ago, was instrumental in having our school's name included on the space probe's internal data storage. He told us all the story of how this came about, as well as a host of other interesting facts about the New Horizons space project. He also brought along a newspaper from California from the day of the launch, as well as a letter written in 2006 by a child to Pluto.

 

A group of children representing every class across the school then showed Mr Hindmarch the work they have been creating as part of our whole school research project on the space probe's epic journey. He was incredibly impressed by the children's knowledge and enthusiasm.

 

Perhaps, most importantly of all, we should reflect on what an incredible link this has given the children here with the world of science and space exploration. They are the first generation who will grow up with precise, detailed images of Pluto as well as a deeper understanding of this planet's composition than anyone in history. This has not happened since 1989, when the Voyager space probe flew past Neptune.

 

As I type this, Liam has just informed me that the final countdown has happened in our lunch hall and New Horizons has now officially passed Pluto. I'm amazed that our cheers could not be heard from Pluto itself!

 

What an exciting day for NASA, the Solar System and Dormansland School.


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