New Horizons' Epic Expedition into the Unknown

By Julia Wermuth

Venturing into uncharted waters, discovering unearthed secrets and seeking revolutionary realities comes at no simple cost. The only way to realize growth and significantly impact society is to take a bold step into the unknown. This week, NASA’s probe, going by the unquestionably fitting name New Horizons, is finally gleaning valuable information about a place that humanity has yet to have truly delved into: Pluto.

Bringing back information from a realm we have not yet seen in more than a few pixels, the space probe sent out from Earth all the way back in January of 2006 fits all of the criteria, and boasts all of the success, that only some are able to embody as heralds of their time. These harbingers venture with one statute as their guide: To boldly go where no one has gone before.

At 6:50 this morning, while you were still cuddled up in your bed or rubbing the last bits of sleep from your eyes, New Horizons whizzed past Pluto making history.

After nine years of waiting, over five billion kilometers of travel and thousands of Kodak moments along his trip to Pluto’s tiny section of the universe, New Horizons’ journey perfectly exemplifies all of the patience, trials and tribulations that come along with jumping into unmapped territory. However, with hard work and dedication to a course never taken before comes success: "This is true exploration… that view is just the first of many rewards the team will get” (John Grunsfeld, NASA science chief).

The tiny probe isn’t stopping at Pluto either; New Horizons is questing farther into the final frontier and headed into the Kuiper Belt researching the remains from our own solar system’s inception. This mission required incredible amounts of work from the team at NASA, and there is no telling just how influential and astronomical (buh dum tss) New Horizons findings will be.

Although NASA scientists have spent the last 9 years relatively in the dark as to whether or not this mission would go through, they have already gleaned more information than has ever before been offered.

After four unsuccessful attempts, this voyage has blown all that was previously known out of the water. Even before reaching its final destination, New Horizons has brought more information than the world has ever seen. 

From Waffle, little probe New Horizons, we take our hats off to you!