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Old 12-14-2017, 09:49 AM   #661
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42333783

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The American space agency's New Horizons mission has struck gold again.
After its astonishing flyby of Pluto in 2015, scientists have just discovered that the probe's next target is not one object but very likely two.
Earth-based observations suggest the small icy world, referred to simply as MU69, has a moonlet.
It seems New Horizons will now be making a two-for-the price-of-one flyby when it has its encounter on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, 2019.
The plan is for the spacecraft to pass the 30-40km-wide main object with a separation of just 3,500km, acquiring high-resolution pictures and other data.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:30 PM   #662
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January 4, 2018
Spend Next New Year's Eve with New Horizons

The New Year's celebration to usher in 2019 will include an event like no other – more than four billion miles from Earth.
In just under a year – shortly after midnight Eastern Time on Jan. 1, 2019 – NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will buzz by the most primitive and most distant object ever explored. New Horizons' encounter with Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, which orbits a billion miles beyond Pluto, will offer the first close-up up look at such a pristine building block of the solar system – and will be performed in a region of deep space that was practically unknown just a generation ago.
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/...?page=20180104
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:02 PM   #663
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object 2014 MU69
We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:11 PM   #664
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 We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
What about Stuart?
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:06 PM   #665
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 We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
This is probably not allowed, but I'd like a name in honour of Clyde Tombaugh. A (very) small sample of his ashes are on board, so theoretically he's getting there long before anyone else will...
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:11 AM   #666
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 This is probably not allowed,
We Orbinauts can call it whatever we like here on OF. Let them try and stop us!
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:22 AM   #667
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 We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
Kuiper McKuiperface
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:30 AM   #668
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Originally Posted by Andy44 View Post
 We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
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Originally Posted by boogabooga View Post
 Kuiper McKuiperface
Or "Mountain Dew is the Best Soda Ever!"
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:26 AM   #669
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Or "Mountain Dew is the Best Soda Ever!"
Didn't you say less unwieldy?
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:29 AM   #670
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History made!

New Horizons Captures Record-Breaking Images in the Kuiper Belt



With its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as Centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust. These December 2017 false-color images of KBOs 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 are, for now, the farthest from Earth ever captured by a spacecraft. They're also the closest-ever images of Kuiper Belt objects.

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently turned its telescopic camera toward a field of stars, snapped an image – and made history.

The routine calibration frame of the “Wishing Well” galactic open star cluster, made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Dec. 5, was taken when New Horizons was 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers, or 40.9 astronomical units) from Earth – making it, for a time, the farthest image ever made from Earth.

New Horizons was even farther from home than NASA’s Voyager 1 when it captured the famous “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth. That picture was part of a composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system, on Feb. 14, 1990, when Voyager was 3.75 billion miles (6.06 billion kilometers, or about 40.5 astronomical units [AU]) from Earth. Voyager 1’s cameras were turned off shortly after that portrait, leaving its distance record unchallenged for more than 27 years.

LORRI broke its own record just two hours later with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 – further demonstrating how nothing stands still when you’re covering more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) of space each day.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:27 AM   #671
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/...ive_02_28_2018

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February 28, 2018
The PI's Perspective: Why Didn't Voyager Explore the Kuiper Belt?

NASA's venerable Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft made landmark explorations of the giant planets from 1979 to 1989. New Horizons is the next deep-space probe after the Voyagers, accomplishing the first exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt beyond—our solar system's third zone. Credit: NASA.

New Horizons is in good health and cruising closer each day to our next encounter, an end-of-the-year flyby of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 2014 MU69 (or "MU69" for short). Currently, the spacecraft is hibernating while the mission team plans the MU69 flyby. During hibernation, three of the instruments on New Horizons—SWAP, PEPSSI and SDC—collect data every day on the charged particle, ionized plasma and dust environment in the Kuiper Belt at a solar distance of 41-42 astronomical units (AU), where our spacecraft is traveling. (1 AU is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, about 93 million miles or 140 million kilometers; for comparison, Pluto is about 34 AU from the Sun, so we're about 750 million miles farther out than Pluto now.)
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:44 AM   #672
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Interesting thing about that article is that it doesn't mention the Voyagers' propulsion systems. I don't even know if they have functioning propulsion systems anymore, and had they known early enough, would they have been able to budget any propellant for side missions like New Horizons has. Great article!
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:44 PM   #673
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They do, and they were just in the news a few months ago:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/voy...sters-after-37
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:16 AM   #674
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 We really need to give this thing a less unwieldy nickname.
More wieldy?
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:50 AM   #675
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Yes, we need more wieldys.

N.
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