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Old 07-02-2010, 07:47 PM   #61
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SpaceRef: "Course Correction Keeps New Horizons on Path to Pluto".
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:30 PM   #62
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20100714.php

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Five Years and Counting Down
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/videos/movieTrail.php

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #63
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Pluto Mission News
July 27, 2010
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu

________________________________



LORRI Looks Back at “Old Friend” Jupiter

In early 2007 New Horizons flew through the Jupiter system, getting a speed-boost from the giant planet's gravity while snapping stunning, close-up images of Jupiter and its largest moons.

Fast forward to 2010 and New Horizons has given us another glimpse of old friend Jupiter, this time from a vantage point more than 16 times the distance between Earth and the Sun, and almost 1000 times as far away as when New Horizons reconnoitered Jupiter. While the planet is too far for the camera to pick up the swirling clouds and brewing, Earth-sized storms it saw just three years ago, "the picture is a dramatic reminder of just how far New Horizons, moving about a million miles a day, has traveled," says mission Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute.



For the full story, visit: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20100727.php

_______________________________

New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of rocky, icy objects beyond. Principal Investigator Alan Stern leads a mission team that includes the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, Ball Aerospace Corporation, the Boeing Company, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford University, KinetX, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, University of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a number of other firms, NASA centers and university partners. For more information on the mission, visit http://pluto.jhuapl.edu <http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/> .
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #64
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Also from the aforementioned link:

Annual Checkout Winds Down.

The mission's fourth annual checkout, which started on May 25, wraps up this week. "We packed a lot of activity into nine weeks," says Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman, of APL. "It was very successful."

Read about ACO-4. The final activities included making sure the spacecraft's command and data handling system was in working order, and loading new navigation data into the spacecraft's guidance and control system, based on the June 30 trajectory-correction maneuver that refined New Horizons' path to Pluto. The Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter has also been turned on, now that the other six instruments in New Horizons science payload have been shut down. Working from commands transmitted last week to its computers, New Horizons will enter hibernation on Friday (July 30) and remain in electronic slumber until November. Operators at APL will monitor the craft through a weekly status beacon and a monthly transmission of housekeeping data.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:34 PM   #65
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Picture-Perfect Pluto Practice.

Neptune's giant moon Triton is often called Pluto's "twin" – so what better practice target, then, for New Horizons' telescopic camera?

New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) snapped several photos of Neptune during the latest annual systems checkout, which ended July 30. Neptune was 23.2 astronomical units (about 2.15 billion miles!) from New Horizons when LORRI took aim at the gas giant planet — and Triton made a cameo appearance in these images.

"That we were able to see Triton so close to Neptune, which is approximately 100 times brighter, shows us that the camera is working exactly as designed," says New Horizons Project Scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. "This was a good test for LORRI."

Weaver points out that the solar phase angle (the spacecraft-planet-Sun angle) was 34 degrees and the solar elongation angle (planet-spacecraft-Sun angle) was 95 degrees. Only New Horizons can observe Neptune at such large solar phase angles, which he says is key to studying the light-scattering properties of Neptune's and Triton’s atmospheres.

"As New Horizons has traveled outward across the solar system, we've been using our imagers to make just such special-purpose studies of the giant planets and their moons because this is a small but completely unique contribution that New Horizons can make — because of our position out among the giant planets," says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute.

Triton is slightly larger than Pluto, 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) in diameter compared to Pluto’s 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers). Both objects have atmospheres composed mostly of nitrogen gas with a surface pressure only 1/70,000th of Earth's, and comparably cold surface temperatures approaching minus-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Triton is widely believed to have been a member of the Kuiper Belt (as Pluto still is) that was captured into orbit around Neptune, probably during a collision early in the solar system's history.

New Horizons first photographed Triton in 2008, during its second annual checkout, at a smaller phase angle (21.4 degrees) and larger distance (25.08 AU from New Horizons).


New Horizons image of Neptune and its largest moon, Triton, taken during the annual checkout in late June 2010. The image, taken when the planet was more than 2 billion miles from New Horizons, is a combination of two 9.967-second exposures.

Where's Pluto?
New Horizons was actually closer to Pluto than it was to Neptune when these pictures were taken –a mere 14.92 AU (nearly 1.4 billion miles) from its main planetary target. Team members say a crowded observing schedule led them to skip observations of Pluto during this year's checkout. But we will get another look at the planet before the July 2015 encounter – the mission plans to point LORRI toward Pluto in spring 2012.

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Old 09-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #66
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It's on the right track. Slow but steady, it's closing in every second
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:08 PM   #67
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NASA: "New Horizons Student Dust Counter instrument breaks distance record".
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:57 AM   #68
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Quote:
Catch the Mission PI on ‘The Space Show’



New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern is the scheduled guest today on “The Space Show” – catch the live ‘cast from 5 – 6:30 pm EDT. Dr. Stern will discuss the New Horizons mission, suborbital research opportunities and other topics. Visit www.thespaceshow.com for more information on the program and how to listen online.


http://www.thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=1441


Thats a 45MB mp3 download.

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Last edited by Notebook; 10-14-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:13 AM   #69
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As of October 16, 2010, (or 17th - timezone depending) New Horizons is half way to Pluto. That's half way in mission time - it hit the half way distance point in February.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php

All hail the true probe!
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:29 AM   #70
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Principal Investigator Alan Stern leads a mission team that includes the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, Ball Aerospace Corporation, the Boeing Company, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford University, KinetX, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, University of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a number of other firms, NASA centers and university partners.
I must say I find the multi national involvement somewhat interesting. Thanks for the site though thats awesome!
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:27 PM   #71
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An update:

Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto!
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:00 AM   #72
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20101028.php

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Where Is the New Horizons Centaur Stage?
Well. I haven't got it, unfortunately!

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:07 AM   #73
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SPACE.com: NASA's Speediest Probe Gains on Far-Out Pluto:
Quote:
A NASA Pluto probe may be slumbering at the moment, but it's still tearing through space at a blistering pace, closing in on the orbit of Uranus.

The New Horizons probe is the fastest spacecraft ever launched from Earth, having sped from its home planet in 2006 at about 36,000 mph (nearly 58,000 kph). It had covered half the distance of its nearly 3 billion-mile (4.8 billion-kilometers) voyage by last February, and the spacecraft should reach Pluto in July 2015.

Currently, New Horizons is about 18.5 times farther from the sun than the Earth is, and it should pass the orbit of Uranus in March 2011, NASA officials said.

{...}

In recent years, a number of revelations have come out regarding Pluto from the Hubble Space Telescope, such as the discovery of Nix and Hydra, as well as apparent geyser eruptions and seasonal color changes on the dwarf planet.

"These discoveries have helped develop our encounter with Pluto, which is now fully planned," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. "We have a list of things of do, which has been converted into a timeline of events, which has been converted into spacecraft software with all the commands to run the spacecraft and instruments."

New Horizons "is very different from most missions in the solar system today," Stern told SPACE.com. "It's like we're back at the early days of planetary exploration."

{...}

"With New Horizons, this is our first reconnaissance of Pluto, of this kind of world — we've never sent a mission to the dwarf planets before, never sent a mission to the Kuiper Belt," Stern said. "This is the first time we're going to see a new type of planet since the '70s, when we had our first mission to a giant planet, Jupiter."

Pluto and the Kuiper Belt remain mysterious in many ways, and New Horizons should help fill in some major gaps, Stern said.

"So we don't have a narrow scope here — we're going to write the book on Pluto and the dwarf planets," he said. "We're here to map Pluto, map its surface composition, measure its atmospheric composition, pressure and temperature and assay the same kinds of measurements for all of its satellites."

{...}

"New Horizons is healthy," Stern said. "All systems and instruments are working well, and we have never had a case where we've had to use a backup system owing to a problem. We have good fuel reserves, too, and we're bang on course to Pluto."

{...}

And there's one more research to be examined by New Horizons -

National Geographic: Pluto Has Oceans Under Ice?:
Quote:
Frigid Pluto, home to some of our solar system's chilliest real estate, may well harbor an ocean beneath its miles-thick ice shell, new research suggests.

Despite its extreme cold, the dwarf planet still appears to be warm enough to "easily" have a subsurface ocean, according to a new model of the rate at which radioactive heat might still warm Pluto's core.

And that ocean wouldn't be a mere puddle, noted planetary scientist Guillaume Robuchon of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

{...}

When the New Horizons spacecraft reaches Pluto in 2015, it should be easy to test whether Pluto actually has a subsurface ocean.

If there's no ocean, Pluto should be comparatively flattened at its poles, containing a "fossil" equatorial bulge left over from early in its history, when the body was spinning more rapidly.

{...}

"We're making predictions," Nimmo said, "and will find out whether they're right or wrong when New Horizons gets there."

{...}
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:48 AM   #74
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Space Daily: Mission To Pluto And Beyond Marks 10 Years Since Project Inception.

JHU APL: The PI’s Perspective: Ten Years On.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:38 PM   #75
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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20110120.php

ATLAS rocket, still going, slight bias on my part!

EDIT: Not the launcher, just the progarm...

N.

Last edited by Notebook; 01-21-2011 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Slight correction...
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