IDAHO – When the new horizon spacecraft took photos of Pluto this week, there was a little bit of Idaho on board. Scientists from the Idaho National Laboratory built the battery that helped fuel the spacecraft as it traveled 3 billion miles to Pluto. Kelly Williams was part of the power source team and was at the launch at Cape Canaveral in 2006.
“My children were young at the time and I remember thinking well, 9-10 years from now my kids will all be in college and someday we will be able to see the benefits of this project and we’ll all get to sit back and enjoy the photos of Pluto. I mean at the time it seemed the day would never come. To be able to watch those photos roll in this week and listen to the successful communication with the probe, it’s almost like a dream come true after 10 years.”
Mankind’s first close up look at Pluto does not disappoint. The pictures show ice mountains on Pluto about as high as the Rockies and canyons on his big moon Sharon that appear deeper than those on Earth.