Pluto: October 2013

What does New Horizons say when it calls home? Nothing, without the help of software that transforms zeros and ones from New Horizons' computers into images, instrument readings, or useful information on the spacecraft's status. Those datasets are then transmitted to Earth by the telecommunications (radio) system aboard New Horizons.

A large impact 4 billion years ago may account for the puzzling orbital configuration among Pluto's five known satellites, according to a new model developed by planetary scientists from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).