New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

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New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#1  Postby kennyc » Dec 05, 2014 11:04 pm

Comes out of hibernation tomorrow 12/6/2014. Closest approach to Pluto will be on July 14.

Image


NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft comes out of hibernation for the last time on Dec. 6. Between now and then, while the Pluto-bound probe enjoys three more weeks of electronic slumber, work on Earth is well under way to prepare the spacecraft for a six-month encounter with the dwarf planet that begins in January.

“New Horizons is healthy and cruising quietly through deep space – nearly three billion miles from home – but its rest is nearly over,” says Alice Bowman, New Horizons mission operations manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. “It’s time for New Horizons to wake up, get to work, and start making history.”

Since launching in January 2006, New Horizons has spent 1,873 days in hibernation – about two-thirds of its flight time – spread over 18 separate hibernation periods from mid-2007 to late 2014 that ranged from 36 days to 202 days long.

In hibernation mode much of the spacecraft is unpowered; the onboard flight computer monitors system health and broadcasts a weekly beacon-status tone back to Earth. On average, operators woke New Horizons just over twice each year to check out critical systems, calibrate instruments, gather science data, rehearse Pluto-encounter activities and perform course corrections when necessary.

New Horizons pioneered routine cruise-flight hibernation for NASA. Not only has hibernation reduced wear and tear on the spacecraft’s electronics, it lowered operations costs and freed up NASA Deep Space Network tracking and communication resources for other missions.
.....


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newho ... index.html

planetary society info: http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/e ... pluto.html
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#2  Postby Made of Stars » Dec 06, 2014 11:01 am

'Video' of Charon orbiting Pluto from July 2014. I'm looking forward to seeing how things have progressed. :)

http://www.space.com/26786-pluto-and-gi ... video.html
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#3  Postby kennyc » Dec 06, 2014 11:38 am

Made of Stars wrote:'Video' of Charon orbiting Pluto from July 2014. I'm looking forward to seeing how things have progressed. :)

http://www.space.com/26786-pluto-and-gi ... video.html


Cool! This is going to be great!
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#4  Postby Pulsar » Dec 06, 2014 5:39 pm

Can't wait for this. To see close-up pictures of Pluto and Charon for the first time will be amazing. Fingers crossed!
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#5  Postby Macdoc » Dec 06, 2014 5:44 pm

The human empire expands....:D
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#6  Postby kennyc » Dec 07, 2014 1:58 pm

It Lives!

It's Alive! NASA's New Horizons Pluto Probe 'Wakes Up' for Work
BY ALAN BOYLE
From 2.9 billion miles away, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft let its handlers know on Saturday that it has awakened from hibernation and is ready for the climax of its nine-year trip to Pluto.

The first signals were received at the mission's control center at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland via a giant radio antenna in Australia just before 9:30 p.m. ET, nearly four and a half hours after it was sent by the piano-sized probe. It takes that long for signals to travel between there and here at the speed of light.

Later readings confirmed that New Horizons was fully awake.
....


http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/it ... rk-n262996
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#7  Postby Nostalgia » Dec 07, 2014 7:37 pm

We certainly are living in exciting times. :popcorn:
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#8  Postby laklak » Dec 07, 2014 8:03 pm

:this: Damn straight. I cannot think of any time in history as exciting as today. We were just talking about this the other night, my grandfather was born in 1894 (or '92, I can't remember), and died in 1971. He remembered, as a child, seeing the newspaper accounts of the Wright brother's first powered flight. He remembered Lindbergh's flight and saw the moon landing. Bloody amazing.
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#9  Postby Blackadder » Dec 07, 2014 8:16 pm

Fantastic stuff!
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#10  Postby Griz_ » Dec 07, 2014 8:29 pm

The dramatic changes in technology that our grandparents witnessed may never be equaled but I was thinking that I may be one of those people who, when we do land a man or mars, will be saying "when I was 9 I remember the first man landing on the moon". I hope I make it. Very exciting times we live in!
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#11  Postby laklak » Dec 07, 2014 10:01 pm

You youngsters with your high-falutin replicators and warp drives! Why, in my day, we had airplanes with pistons and propellers! Didn't need no anti-matter, just some good 'ol crude oil and a spark plug.
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#12  Postby Made of Stars » Dec 08, 2014 12:12 pm

A very detailed post by Emily Lakdawalla on the flyby by New Horizons, and planned imaging program:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... ience.html
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#13  Postby kennyc » Dec 08, 2014 12:32 pm

Made of Stars wrote:A very detailed post by Emily Lakdawalla on the flyby by New Horizons, and planned imaging program:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... ience.html



That's a great article.....from the end:

....

Closest approach to Pluto is on Tuesday, July 14 at 11:50 UT, as time is measured on the spacecraft. During the close encounter, New Horizons will approach to within:

13,700 kilometers of Pluto;
29,500 kilometers of Charon;
22,000 kilometers of Nix; and
77,600 kilometers of Hydra.

At the moment of closest approach, it would take 4 hours 25 minutes for signals to get from Pluto to Earth. However, New Horizons will not be in contact with Earth at that time; it will be pointed at Pluto system targets, feverishly gathering highest-priority science. The first moment that we on Earth will hear from New Horizons after closest approach is not until July 14 at 18:09 PDT / 21:09 EDT / July 15 at 01:09 UTC! That moment is called the "Phone Home" and will essentially be a "beep" indicating that the spacecraft is healthy and still running its science program. The first data from the close approach phase -- including single-frame, black-and-white photos of Pluto, Charon, and Hydra -- will not be received for another 10 hours, on Wednesday, July 15 at about 04:00 PDT / 07:00 EDT / 11:00 UTC on Earth.
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#14  Postby catbasket » Dec 08, 2014 12:54 pm

MacIver wrote:We certainly are living in exciting times. :popcorn:

Wonderful, isn't it!
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#15  Postby newolder » Oct 19, 2016 12:21 pm

The next target for NASA's New Horizons mission – which made a historic flight past Pluto in July 2015 –– apparently bears a colorful resemblance to its famous, main destination.

Hubble Space Telescope data suggests that 2014 MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) about a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, is as red, if not redder, than Pluto. This is the first hint at the surface properties of the far-flung object that New Horizons will survey on Jan. 1, 2019.

Mission scientists are discussing this and other Pluto and Kuiper Belt findings this week at the joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences and European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, California...

More @ source

ETA Overlayed Hubble Space Telescope images of 2014 MU69
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#16  Postby DougC » Nov 17, 2016 12:17 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38005104

B.B.C. Article
Pluto 'has slushy ocean' below surface
Pluto may harbour a slushy water ocean beneath its most prominent surface feature, known as the "heart".
This could explain why part of the heart-shaped region - called Sputnik Planitia - is locked in alignment with Pluto's largest moon Charon.
A viscous ocean beneath the icy crust could have acted as a heavy, irregular mass that rolled Pluto over, so that Sputnik Planitia was facing the moon.
The findings are based on data from Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft.
The space probe flew by the dwarf planet in July 2015 and is now headed into the Kuiper Belt, an icy region of the Solar System beyond Neptune's orbit.
Sputnik Planitia is a circular region in the heart's left "ventricle" and is aligned almost exactly opposite Charon. In addition, Pluto and Charon are tidally locked, which results in Pluto and Charon always showing the same face to each other.

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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#17  Postby Calilasseia » Jan 30, 2017 5:27 pm

NASA releases new photos of Pluto from the New Horizons mission ... MSN video clip here ...
Signature temporarily on hold until I can find a reliable image host ...
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#18  Postby newolder » Jun 03, 2017 11:41 am

Tonight is the first chance (there's 2 more) to watch as 2014 MU69 occults a distant star. This object is the next fly-by target for the New Horizons probe and is roughly 1 billion miles further out in the Kuiper belt of the solar system. The 2-ish second duration event will be monitored from remote stations in South America and South Africa.

The team hopes to gather further information on the size and shape of MU69 and any possible ring/debris material nearby to help plan the fly-by.

More (words and vids) @ KBO-chaser's web
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#19  Postby newolder » Aug 29, 2018 11:54 am

Ultima in View: NASA’s New Horizons Makes First Detection of Kuiper Belt Flyby Target

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has made its first detection of its next flyby target, the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, more than four months ahead of its New Year's 2019 close encounter.

...

Image
More @ NASA link

Only 107 million miles to go...
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Re: New Horizons - Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

#20  Postby felltoearth » Aug 29, 2018 3:53 pm

Griz_ wrote:The dramatic changes in technology that our grandparents witnessed may never be equaled but I was thinking that I may be one of those people who, when we do land a man or mars, will be saying "when I was 9 I remember the first man landing on the moon". I hope I make it. Very exciting times we live in!

The young’uns will say, “60 years! What took so long??!!”

We went from the first manned flight to the moon in 65 years. A Mars landing should have started planning in 1970 or earlier once the moon was reached. Instead we decided to sink a tonne of dough in a reusable orbiter. We need to show more ambition.
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