After nine years and 3 billion miles hurtling through the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons probe achieved an astronomical milestone today: the first-ever photographs of Ric Flair’s Space Mountain.
Applause and hollers of “wooo” erupted at NASA Mission Control this morning when the probe gave humankind its first glimpse of an object that has hitherto only been rhapsodized about in frenetic, red-faced wrestling promos.
Space Mountain has long been known to loom over the surface of Pluto, the outermost planet our solar system, but even the best earthbound telescopes could barely make out its irregularly shaped peak (or “nose,” as it has been nicknamed).
The clear new images obtained by the New Horizons probe are so detailed, on the other hand, that analysts can make out shapes on the planet’s surface that “look like women lining up to ride Space Mountain,” said one NASA source.
Capturing images of Space Mountain on Pluto has been a long-term goal of the New Horizons probe, though it has collected important data on its long journey past Joey Mercury, Val Venis and Perry Saturn.
Shortly after its launch in 2006, the spacecraft snapped images of Randy Savage’s little condominium on the moon.