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New Horizons radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) in horizontal position in the RTG Facility.
No copyright protection is asserted for this photograph. If a recognizable person appears in this photograph, use for commercial purposes may infringe a right of privacy or publicity. It may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NASA employees of a commercial product, process or service, or used in any other manner that might mislead. Accordingly, it is requested that if this photograph is used in advertising and other commercial promotion, layout and copy be submitted to NASA prior to release. PHOTO CREDIT: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. – In the RTG Facility at Kennedy Space Center, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) rests in a horizontal position. The RTG is the baseline power supply for the NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, scheduled to launch in January 2006 on a journey to Pluto and its moon, Charon. As it approaches Pluto, the spacecraft will look for ultraviolet emission from Pluto's atmosphere and make the best global maps of Pluto and Charon in green, blue, red and a special wavelength that is sensitive to methane frost on the surface. It will also take spectral maps in the near infrared, telling the science team about Pluto's and Charon's surface compositions and locations and temperatures of these materials. When the spacecraft is closest to Pluto or its moon, it will take close-up pictures in both visible and near-infrared wavelengths. It is expected to reach Pluto in July 2015.
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