字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 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.