Cheers and applause greeted the news that NASA probe New Horizons had made radio contact with flight controllers following its fly past of Pluto.
Pluto just had its first visitor! Thanks
NASA</a> - it's a great day for discovery and American leadership. <a href="http://t.co/FfztBSMbK0">pic.twitter.com/FfztBSMbK0</a></p>— President Obama (POTUS) July 15, 2015
About 13 hours after its closest approach to the dwarf planet, news that the craft was still intact was vital to the mission with 99 percent of the data gathered during the encounter still on the space ship.