The New Horizons probe has signaled it has “survived” its flyby of Pluto. One concern was that the probe might have hit a yet-to-be-discovered ring some thousands of miles above the surface.
During the hours of close proximity to Pluto and its moons, New Horizons went “off the grid” from communicating to Earth in order to maximize the capturing of images and the gathering of readings from the encounter.
Slightly reminiscent of Neptune’s moon Triton. They are bodies of similar sizes, but there are clearly distinctions between two cold worlds at the edge of the solar system thought to be made of similar materials.
I liked this comment from journalist David Shukman:
The cheering and jubilation are phenomenal. There’s a powerful sense of achievement at sending a robotic craft three billion miles to Pluto. But there’s also something much more instinctive: the thrill of witnessing and sharing a great moment of discovery.
Other human space probes have travelled farther. But none have explored a specific outpost like Pluto. A good example of the Ignatian principle of magis.