New Horizons probe flies past #Pluto nine years after leaving Earth. via @iansample @guardian

Cheers, whoops and flag waving broke out at Nasa’s New Horizons control centre as scientists celebrated the spacecraft’s dramatic flyby of Pluto, considered the last unexplored world in the solar system.
The probe shot past at more than 28,000 mph (45,000 km/h) at 12.49pm BST (7.49am ET) on a trajectory that brought the fastest spacecraft ever to leave Earth’s orbit within 7,770 miles of Pluto’s surface.
The moment, played out on Tuesday to the sound of The Final Countdown by the 1980s glam metal band Europe, marked a historic achievement for the US, which can now claim to be the only nation to have visited every planet in the classical solar system.
Members of the New Horizons science team
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 Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the probe’s last and sharpest image of Pluto before its closest approach. Photograph: Bill Ingalls/AP
“It feels good,” said Alan Stern, lead scientist on the mission. “So many people put so much work into this around the country. We’ve completed the initial reconnaissance of the solar system, an endeavour started under President Kennedy.”
John Grunsfeld, head of Nasa’s science mission directorate, said that images beamed back from New Horizons on its approach showed Pluto to be an “extraordinarily interesting and complex world”.
“It’s just amazing. It’s truly a hallmark in human history,” he said of the encounter with Pluto. “It’s been an incredible voyage.”

Nasa spacecraft makes history as the first spacecraft to reach distant dwarf planet, the last unexplored world in solar system
Cheers, whoops and flag waving broke out at Nasa’s New Horizons control centre as scientists celebrated the spacecraft’s dramatic flyby of Pluto, considered the last unexplored world in the solar system.
The probe shot past at more than 28,000 mph (45,000 km/h) at 12.49pm BST (7.49am ET) on a trajectory that brought the fastest spacecraft ever to leave Earth’s orbit within 7,770 miles of Pluto’s surface.
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