NASA's Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
The assembled Student Dust Counter instrument sits ready for installation on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in August 2004. The device combines two major elements: an 18-by-12-inch detector mounted on the outside of the spacecraft, and a small electronics box inside the craft that determines the mass and speed of the space-dust particles that hit the detector. Here, the detector is hidden by a protective red cover.
The instrument was renamed the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter in June 2006, honoring the girl who named the planet Pluto in 1930.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
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