Landing On Pluto: A Virtual Tour Of The Dwarf Planet

First Posted: Jan 21, 2017 03:30 AM EST

NASA has done it again. It has never let its admirers down on the daily dose of space exploration and marvel. Recently, NASA released a colorized video, which depicts on what it would feel to be landing on Pluto. The video was deduced from the images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft over a period of six weeks, during its historic flyby near Pluto in July 2015.

It is a must-watch for common people, who have negligible chances of experiencing what space travel would actually feel like and how astronauts must be feeling when they approach and land on a strange planet or satellite, they know nothing about.

The video was the outcome of painstaking efforts of NASA scientists, along with the support of graphic designers. The original pictures of Pluto's surface, sent by the probe, are black and white. So, the first thing that NASA scientists did was to deduce the actual colors of the dwarf planet. They then stacked the low-resolution color images sent by the New Horizon's Ralph instrument, over the monochrome photos to get a brief idea of "what an approach to Pluto would actually look like," Gizmodo reported.

The stacked pictures were then linked to for the video. Finally, the video that was made was worth all the efforts. It opens with a far-flung view of Pluto and Charon, its largest moon, and concludes with the view of "landing on the shoreline of Sputnik Planitia, a bright, ice-covered basin."

The landing on Pluto video also provides a close view of the surface and an awesome virtual tour of the Pluto planet, as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft. It helps in drawing the attention of millions of people who know less about Pluto and its exploration programs, as compared to the famous NASA Curiosity rover on Mars and the NASA Cassini spacecraft, which is currently busy studying Saturn and its rings, Space Coast Daily reported.

The video may be considered as an advertisement of the highly popular notion of space tourism. Though Moon tourism and Moon Village may soon become pragmatic, venturing the Pluto, both for space research and exploration as well as for tourism, may take a while. 

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