NASA has released a striking video that makes viewers as if they’re driving into the surface of Pluto. The movie was created using images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft during its approach and close flyby of the dwarf planet in July, 2015.
“The video offers a trip down onto the surface of Pluto – starting with a distant view of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon – and leading up to an eventual ride in for a “landing” on the shoreline of Pluto’s informally named Sputnik Planitia,” says NASA. Watch the video below!
NASA says to create this spectacular movie, mission scientists had to interpolate some of the panchromatic (black and white) frames based on what they know Pluto looks like to make it as smooth and seamless as possible.
Low-resolution color from the Ralph color camera aboard New Horizons was then draped over the frames to give the best available, actual color simulation of what it would look like to descend from high altitude to Pluto’s surface, it added.
NASA’s New Horizons turned 11 this week ( January 19), the day the space probe was launched into the blue sky in 2006 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft made its closest approach with Pluto, flying 12,500 km above the surface of the dwarf planet.
New Horizons is expected to make a flyby of Kuiper Belt on January 1, 2019, to examine another of the ancient, icy mini-worlds in that vast region, at least a billion miles beyond Neptune’s orbit.