by Mary Kay Carson; photos by Tom Uhlman
80 pages; ages 10-12
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017
It takes a lot of work to get to Pluto: teams of scientists and engineers, mission control specialists who keep your vehicle on track, and time. Nearly ten years of time – even if your spacecraft is tiny. That’s why the folks at NASA had to build a craft that was durable and could take care of itself.
In 2005, when they were building the New Horizons spacecraft, engineers knew it would need a power source. Solar panels make electricity for most satellites and space probes, “but a sunny day on Pluto is about as bright as twilight on Earth,” writes Mary Kay Carson. So New Horizons carried its own power source: plutonium.
More about the book, and mission-appropriate theme music over at Archimedes Notebook.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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