NASA has re-established contact with New Horizons following an expected communication blackout as the spacecraft made its first flyby of Pluto, according to BBC.
Signal from the spacecraft from 3 billion miles has reached the Earth, specifically from the antennae in Madrid, Spain, the report stated. It confirmed that the first-ever historic space probe was a success. New Horizons was able to achieve and survive its intended mission.
Back at the headquarters at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, people cheered and waved the American flag after learning that New Horizons was doing alright.
"We have a healthy spacecraft, we've recorded data of the Pluto system, and we're outbound from Pluto," said Alice Bowman, the operations manager of the mission shortly before 9 p.m. EDT, according to NBC News.
Bowman confirmed that everything went as planned. "The expected number of segments on that recorder had been used. That tells us that that data has been collected on the spacecraft."
At 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday, New Horizons was in close range of the dwarf planet, but any data it was gathering was not expected to be transmitted until hours later. Now, the space probe is on the far side of Pluto and is exploring the Kuiper Belt.
"This is a tremendous moment in human history," said science chief John Grunsfeld. "The spacecraft is full of images and we can't wait."
With New Horizon's voyage, the United States becomes the lone nation in the world to visit all the planets of the Solar System. President Obama congratulated the NASA team on his Twitter account saying, "Pluto just had its first visitor! Thanks @NASA - it's a great day for discovery and American leadership."
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 15, 2015
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