Space probe LORRI was launched in 2006. She flew by Jupiter in 2007 and has spent the past 8 years in hibernation mode on her way to Pluto. Looks to me like she has spent part of that time playing Minecraft!
NASA’s New Horizons has returned its first images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, since the mission entered into the countdown phase of its historic mission. Taken at a distance of 126 million miles (200 million km), it will pale in comparison to the images expected over the coming months.
The images were snapped by New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) late last month. The spacecraft will make its closest approach on July 14th.
“Pluto is finally becoming more than just a pinpoint of light,” noted New Horizons team member Hal Weaver in a statement. “LORRI has now resolved Pluto, and the dwarf planet will continue to grow larger and larger in the images as New Horizons spacecraft hurtles toward its targets.”
Here is an artist’s conception of what LORRI will look like when she reaches Pluto.
The above illustration and other information about LORRI found here: