Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL
Wished it wasn't just a fly by it would have been real good to have an orbiter for a while.
Mind you one has to wonder at the maths involved in getting that sort of thing happening eh
Unfortunately there are consequences for trying a Plutonian insertion:
1. You need a significantly larger craft carrying a powerful rocket and fuel to burn,
2. To slow the craft enough to be captured by Pluto (which has only 7% Earth's gravity), you need to spend 2 years slowing the craft down (assuming cruise speed of about 60,000kph)
In practical terms, that means the mission costs significantly more, and will take much longer than the 9.5 yrs. The really tricky thing about going into orbit around Plutor is the effect of Charon, Nix, Styx, Hydra and Kerberos on the craft. The mass of these, and their orbital paths, were not known well enough to predict the calculations required for the orbital insertion, and the gravitational influence on the craft.