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  • We lost comm

  • with the spacecraft.

  • If the spacecraft wasn't back up and running by the time we flew

  • past Pluto, our nine year wait would have been for nothing.

  • There's a little bit of drama because this is true exploration.

  • New Horizons is flying into the unknown.

  • When we got there, we saw something that absolutely blew our minds.

  • It was incredible.

  • When we saw these photographs of what it actually looked like,

  • really a world in its own right, it was mind blowing.

  • There was active geology on Pluto right now, something so far from

  • the sun should just be a cold, dead world, but it's not.

  • It had this living, breathing heart.

  • Three, two, one...

  • We have ignition and liftoff of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

  • We've been using the best telescopes that we had

  • available to us to observe it for years, most notably the Hubble

  • Space Telescope. And through a lot of observations, a map was made of

  • of Pluto's brightness, but it was very fuzzy.

  • You have some light periods and dark bits.

  • But that's all we had.

  • The Voyager spacecrafts that explored the rest of the solar

  • system didn't go past Pluto.

  • We had to send a dedicated spacecraft to go and have a look at

  • Pluto because we'd never seen it before.

  • I mean, lots of people move their personal life around their work and

  • mine is no different, but it is different in the sense that, you know, the

  • spacecraft goes past Pluto once in your lifetime.

  • And so we arranged our wedding ahead of that.

  • And then we actually decided to wait to have children until after Pluto.

  • When you have a mission like this,

  • you have times where you really are quite busy on the mission,

  • you're taking new data, we flew past Jupiter, that gives you data.

  • We're looking at the stars to make sure our instruments are still

  • operating and they're healthy.

  • But there are periods whereby, you know, the spacecraft is in

  • hibernation, it's spinning.

  • It's not taking data.

  • If there's a problem, it knows how to call us.

  • But other than that, it's just marching forward towards Pluto.

  • We lost comm with the spacecraft.

  • Totally silent, and so you can imagine when you're in any kind of

  • critical situation, the worst thing is lack of any information.

  • And that's essentially what we had.

  • Pluto ACE, MOM on New Horizons,

  • Pluto one.

  • Could you advise why we are not locking up to telemetry?

  • About the Fourth of July, so American Independence Day in 2015,

  • it goes into safe mode, just stops doing anything except pointing back

  • to the Earth and telling us there's a problem?

  • MOM, Pluto ACE stand by.

  • I'll check with the station on the steps of telemetry.

  • So to put that into context, our encounter is 10 days at this point

  • now and it's a flyby.

  • We're going to go past Pluto once.

  • We're not going to slow down.

  • We're not going to stop. We're not entering the system.

  • We're flying by it. If the spacecraft wasn't back up and

  • running by the time we flew past Pluto, our nine year wait would have

  • been for nothing.

  • Station 43, Pluto ACE.

  • MOM, on New Horizons, Pluto 1.

  • Go ahead, Pluto ACE.

  • We found the spacecraft.

  • It was responding to us and giving us information, but it was in a

  • state that could not accomplish the encounter with Pluto.

  • It takes nine hours to talk to the spacecraft at that point.

  • And so we were doing the tests on the ground to make sure that the

  • sequence that we were going to upload was working.

  • It took us three days to do that.

  • Around the clock.

  • We slept in our offices.

  • No one wanted to leave because we had waited all this time and there

  • was no way that we were going to let this opportunity slip by.

  • And it will transmit a message back to the Earth for about twenty

  • minutes, in which we'll find out how it's doing.

  • But there's a little bit of drama because this is true exploration.

  • New Horizons is flying into the unknown.

  • So before we enter the Pluto system, we downloaded the highest

  • spatial resolution observations we'd made to date.

  • So there is only five of us in the whole world that had seen this

  • image of Pluto.

  • My hair looks better than that.

  • We're all just sitting there at that moment like whoa!

  • Wow!

  • Whoa!

  • Whoa!

  • We've recorded data, the Pluto system, and we're outbound

  • from Pluto.

  • To see that was just incredible, a life changing experience.

  • Look what we accomplished.

  • It's truly amazing, humankind can go out and explore these worlds

  • and to see Pluto be revealed just before our eyes.

  • So when you see an image of a new world, especially one as diverse as

  • Pluto, there are so many things you can take home from it.

  • And one of the first that jumped out of me is that heart

  • shaped region that's in the middle of the encounter hemisphere, and in

  • particular on the left hand side of the heart.

  • It's very smooth.

  • And you don't get smooth regions on any worlds unless there's

  • some form of active reprocessing.

  • And so there was active geology on Pluto, right now?!

  • Couldn't believe it.

  • Still can't really.

  • So why is it so geologically active?

  • We still don't have all the answers

  • Does Pluto have a subsurface ocean?

  • There were mountains with holes in which points to the idea of a volcano.

  • Maybe it's a cryovolcano. A volcano that erupts ice.

  • And that would be better explained if there was enough

  • heating to sort of maintain a liquid water ocean.

  • Pluto's really cold.

  • Really, really, really cold.

  • Colder than you could possibly imagine cold.

  • It's so cold that water there

  • is sort of the bedrock.

  • Its the ice is so hard, it can form mountains, which is something

  • that, of course, just couldn't occur on the earth.

  • And so on Pluto, we see these, we see these big ice structures.

  • So it all kind of implies that there's lots on Pluto that is quite

  • fresh and new.

  • And so whether you could have life that is in a sort of this

  • contained place, subsurface so dark, but with an energy source,

  • it's hard to imagine from what we know of life, it's not impossible.

  • But it's going to be a difficult thing to get to see

  • because it's so far from the Earth.

  • We don't want to do any harm.

  • You certainly wouldn't want to send a probe into this pristine

  • world because you could kill everything that was in there just

  • as you discover it. So it's definitely the thing of sci-fi and

  • it's fun to think about, but it's going to be a really difficult

  • thing to test.

  • Anyone that's been working at home during this

  • lockdown will understand the frustration of limited broadband

  • and we have this on New Horizons because the spacecraft is so far

  • from the Earth, getting a signal back is so weak.

  • It's meant that our six gigabytes of data that the spacecraft took

  • during the encounter is still being downloaded.

  • And you're really trying to make sure you have everything on the

  • ground before it gets wiped from the spacecraft, before it's gone

  • from humanity forever.

  • You want to make sure you have everything.

  • The true exploration

  • isn't something that normal people get to do, right.

  • I've got to explore worlds that have never been seen before.

  • And I think once you've had that taste, it's just you can't let it go.

  • It's not quite adrenaline junkie stuff, but you want to do it again,

  • and so it would be absolutely

  • incredible to do it twice in a lifetime.

  • What a privilege.

We lost comm

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A1 初級 美國腔

行星表面(Exploring Pluto's surface | Planet Explorers | BBC Earth)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2022 年 01 月 05 日
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