While not what we generally think of as a UAS, NASA’s New Horizons Probe made its closest approach of Pluto today. This complex unmanned system will certainly increase our understanding of space, and the technology will certainly trickle down to UAS.
From NASA: New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006; it swung past Jupiter for a gravity boost and scientific studies in February 2007, and will conduct a five-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons in summer 2015. Pluto closest approach is scheduled for July 14, 2015.
The highest resolution image from its closest approach at about 4pm today has not yet arrived from New Horizons, but the images so far are amazing!
Here is a size comparison:
I’ll update this post tomorrow with the image that is expected to arrive and is promised to be even better than the one posted above.
Since I’m talking about NASA, here are a few pictures of the Space Shuttle Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It gave me chills to be so close to a shuttle that our nation launched into space 39 times! The docent said they made a conscious decision not to paint it, and it was interesting to see the effects of reentry on the thermal protection.