It's amazing to me that I first wrote about the adventures of the NASA spacecraft New Horizons in a 20 January 2016 blog entry 'Seeing is believing - the Pluto mission launched.' - https://fremantlebiz.livejournal.com/167564.htm - It took nine years to reach Pluto and beam back a wealth of scientific data and astonishingly clear images of the dwarf planet in a 15 July 2015 entry at: https://fremantlebiz.livejournal.com/1063579.html - Now thirteen years later it has done a close pass of a Kuiper Belt object named Ultima Thule and as with Pluto is sending back clear images of what appears to be a couple of conjoined icy spheres. But the some four billion miles adventure is not over for New Horizons. Over the next few years further exploration involving close passes of other Kuiper Belt objects at even greater distances is proposed. We are truly living in a 'golden age' of space exploration. As I wrote on 5 August 2005, I am reminded of when I actually saw the first Russian Sputnik in 1957 with my parents from the front lawn of their house in Attadale. My dad was even able to briefly pick up its beeping on a portable AM radio, which was almost miraculous considering the speed it was moving and the rapid doppler shift. In later years when I was an active radio ham I managed a radio contact with the shuttle Challenger, and I have the QSL confirmation card to prove it.
Paul R. Weaver.
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