The New Horizons spacecraft’s primary instruments have been found on the far side of Pluto, but some scientists think they are not real.
The New Horizon mission launched on April 13 and will make its first visit to the dwarf planet in 2021.
The spacecraft’s twin Cassini spacecraft flew by the dwarf in December 2014.
They are the only two spacecraft to have ever visited the dwarf.
The instruments on the spacecraft are a magnetometer, an imaging spectrometer, and an ionosphere spectromer, according to a press release.
The ionosphere instrument, which uses the sun’s energy to measure the amount of solar radiation hitting the surface, measured only 0.03 milli-Tesla, less than 0.01 per cent of the energy that reaches the Earth from the sun, the mission said.
“While this is small, it is significant for the first time,” New Horizons mission director Alan Stern told the BBC.
“There is a lot of interest in these instruments, and I think we’ve been able to make a lot out of them.”
The instruments were originally intended to be mounted on the craft’s main science instruments, but were moved out to make way for the coronagraph system.
The coronagraph is a thin, transparent layer of ice and dust around a star that allows scientists to see the faint light from a star.
The team says it has found the instruments in a location that was “too far from the surface” for the instrument to be able to see it, making it difficult to use them.
The mission’s coronagraph, which was originally supposed to be on the Cassini craft, is now mounted on a smaller spacecraft, named TESS.
The new instruments were discovered on the side of the spacecraft that will be closest to the surface.
The Cassini-Huygens probe, which flew by Pluto in 1995, has not yet been detected by the New Horizons team.
The instrument, called Cassini’s Ionosphere Spectrometer (CIS), measured 0.14 milli Tesla.
The probe’s ionosphere sensor, which measured only 1.6 milliTesla, was mounted on TESS, and has also been found.
The other instruments were found in an area known as a “lunar parachute,” a region of space where the spacecraft has been pulled to make room for its instruments.
“This is an interesting discovery, and it’s something that we’ll hopefully be able get a look at later,” said Alan Stern, the New Horizon spacecraft director.
“I can say that we have found everything that we need to find.
We’ll find everything we need.”
New Horizons mission scientists said that the instruments were not a major problem.
“They were the best instruments we’ve ever had in a spacecraft,” said David Shearer, a member of the Cassina mission team.
“The mission was not a great one, but the instruments are doing the job.”
Cassini also has a spectrometeethat is a spectrograph that can detect the chemical composition of Pluto’s atmosphere.
The spectrographic instruments, named X-rays, are expected to be launched in 2021, and will be able measure more than 500 times the energy of the Earth’s ionospheric solar wind, according the mission.
Scientists said that there is also a spectroscope that measures the amount and composition of the atmosphere of Pluto.
The Spectroscopic Imager (SI), which measures about 100 times more energy than the X-ray spectrograms, was also mounted on Cassini.
Cassini also had a radar that uses infrared light to scan the surface of Pluto and look for water ice.
The data collected by the radar and the instruments found water ice in parts of the surface that are about 100 kilometres across.
But, the instrument has not been able so far to see water.
“We don’t think there’s any water in the Pluto system,” said Tom Wysocki, a Cassini mission scientist.
“It’s possible that there are water features there that we don’t yet have enough data for us to see.”
The team said that they are still looking for evidence of water ice and other organic compounds in the surface atmosphere of the dwarf, and are not confident that they have found anything.
“We don, however, expect to be seeing evidence of liquid water on the surface in a couple of years,” Stern said.
The spectroscopic imager instrument on the New Voyager spacecraft, which also is based on a spacecraft called Voyager 1, has been found, too.
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As part of the mission’s New Horizons science mission, scientists are looking for the spectroscopy instrument that will measure the chemical signature of the water ice on the planet.
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