Live coverage of the Pluto encounter

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is due to make its closest approach to Pluto at 9:49:57pm Australian Eastern Standard Time tonight (Tuesday, 14 July 2015).

At that time, the craft will be busy taking numerous images and other data of the icy world and its retinue of moons, so it won’t be simultaneously beaming back signals. Those signals will have to wait until after the encounter, when the data will slowly be returned to Earth.

Nevertheless, there will be great excitement at mission control, and you’ll be able to follow it all through NASA’s live coverage online.

NASA TV will be broadcasting special coverage beginning at 9:30pm AEST.

You can also follow New Horizons’ Twitter feed.

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