Do you think that in about another century the human race will be
able to travel to Pluto? How long would it take to travel to Pluto?
Pluto is the least studied of all the
planets in our solar system. It wasn't even discovered until 1930. The
main reason is that it is so far away. At its closest point to Earth,
it's still 4.28 billion km (2.66 billion miles) away! It takes light at
least four hours to travel from Pluto to Earth.
But since we can't travel at the speed of light, how fast would a probe
get to Pluto? It took the Voyager probes about 20 years to
travel to Pluto's neighborhood. Without gravity assists from Jupiter and
the other gas giants, it would have taken about another 20 years.
Soon we will find out how long it takes for a probe to get to Pluto. The
U.S. is launching Pluto-Kuiper
Express around the turn of the century. They expect that it will
take less than ten years for the probe to reach Pluto. This is because
it's smaller and the planets are aligned differently than during the
The prospects for human travel to Pluto are slim for now. In order to
make travelling to Pluto feasible, we need to able to get there faster.
Submitted by Ashley (age 10, Tennessee, USA)
Submitted by Megan (age 13, Tennessee, USA)
(September 2, 1997)
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