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Pluto flyby: Nat Geo to showcase historic mission

The one-hour special, premiering today at 10 PM, documents the historic nine-year, $700 million and 3-billion-mile journey to the solar system’s outermost planet

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 14, 2015


On July 14, 2015, NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons is scheduled to make a historic flyby of Pluto. This will be a culmination of a space journey that began nine years ago when New Horizons was launched. Since then the spacecraft has travelled over 3 billion miles in the historic mission to the edge of the solar system. New Horizon’s goal is to capture the first clear images of, and any related data for Pluto.

Nat Geo’s Mission Pluto, premiering today at 10 PM on the National Geographic Channel, and coinciding with New Horizon’s flight past Pluto, will take an in-depth look at the ambitious project from start to finish, leading up to the final hours of the epic journey. The episode will grant viewers unprecedented insight into how the mission was put together.

It will also feature the people who made it all possible, such as mission leader Dr Alan Stern. A veteran of 24 previous NASA missions, Stern commented, “Most of the people on this team have worked on [the mission] for a very big portion of their careers. When you put that much time and effort into a project, you’re pretty excited when you’re at Pluto’s doorstep.”

Mission Pluto is yet another example of spectacular space-related content that Nat Geo consistently endeavours to bring to the viewer. When it comes to content showcasing the wonders of space, the channel’s credibility is unmatched. Apart from the pedigree of the brand, what helps is the fact that Nat Geo lays a special emphasis on topical and relevant content, such as the Rosetta Special episode the channel premiered last year. Mission Pluto is also a treat to watch simply because of the cinematographic brilliance of the content.

The show, hosted by Jason Silva, also the host of NGC’s hit series, Brain Games, will premiere globally on National Geographic Channels in 45 languages across 170 countries.

When the spacecraft arrives, it will speed by Pluto at close to 9 miles per second without any means of stopping. The core flyby will last less than two hours, creating a very tight window for the spacecraft to photograph Pluto, analyse its atmosphere, map its surface and examine its geology. There are chances that the mission fails: if it doesn’t, Nat Geo will have the first ever pictures of Pluto, which will be released days after the premiere of the Mission Pluto episode. These will be released both on the channel, as well as on Nat Geo Facebook page.


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