Author Topic: New Horizons updates  (Read 185179 times)

Offline cscott

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #420 on: 06/19/2018 07:15 PM »
I'm genuinely surprised and impressed that NH even has any propellent left after the burn to intercept MU69!

IIRC when they were evaluating the two possible post-Pluto targets, they chose this one specifically because it gave them better fuel margins for contingencies.  So the fact that they have fuel left over is "by design".
« Last Edit: 06/19/2018 07:15 PM by cscott »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #421 on: 06/19/2018 07:19 PM »
I'm genuinely surprised and impressed that NH even has any propellent left after the burn to intercept MU69!

IIRC when they were evaluating the two possible post-Pluto targets, they chose this one specifically because it gave them better fuel margins for contingencies.  So the fact that they have fuel left over is "by design".
Yep. One the other targets was larger, but there was something like a 5% chance they'd have fuel issues there.

Offline IanThePineapple

Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #422 on: 06/19/2018 07:55 PM »
I'm genuinely surprised and impressed that NH even has any propellent left after the burn to intercept MU69!

IIRC when they were evaluating the two possible post-Pluto targets, they chose this one specifically because it gave them better fuel margins for contingencies.  So the fact that they have fuel left over is "by design".
Yep. One the other targets was larger, but there was something like a 5% chance they'd have fuel issues there.

It also could give them the possibility to flyby one or more targets after MU69 since they have extra fuel left.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #423 on: 06/25/2018 12:42 PM »
Quote
The New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission
S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, J.R. Spencer, H.A. Elliott, the New Horizons Team
(Submitted on 21 Jun 2018)

The central objective of the New Horizons prime mission was to make the first exploration of Pluto and its system of moons. Following that, New Horizons has been approved for its first extended mission, which has the objectives of extensively studying the Kuiper Belt environment, observing numerous Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Centaurs in unique ways, and making the first close flyby of the KBO 486958 2014 MU69. This review summarizes the objectives and plans for this approved mission extension, and briefly looks forward to potential objectives for subsequent extended missions by New Horizons.

Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
DOI:    10.1007/s11214-018-0507-4
Cite as:    arXiv:1806.08393 [astro-ph.EP]
     (or arXiv:1806.08393v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.08393

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #424 on: 08/04/2018 02:27 PM »
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August 4, 2018
New Horizons Team Reports Initial Success in Observing Ultima Thule

Using telescopes to watch the distant Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule pass in front of star on Aug. 3-4, observing teams in Senegal and Colombia report that they've gathered data on New Horizons' next flyby target.

Observing the object is a crucial step, but only the first. The team has weeks of data analysis ahead. "We have lots of work to do," said Marc Buie, the New Horizons co-investigator from Southwest Research Institute who leads the observation campaign. "We all fought weather issues [in Senegal and Colombia] but prevailed anyway. The observing teams are due a huge amount of thanks for their efforts."

The New Horizons team is using stellar occultation observations to gather information about the size, shape, environment and other conditions around Ultima Thule. These data are critical to planning the mission's flyby of the object on Jan. 1, 2019.

Read here about the preparations for the observation campaign.

Watch this timelapse video of observation rehearsals from New Horizons team member Simon Porter.

Gathering occultation data is a difficult task. Read here about the successful campaign to gather initial data on Ultima in 2017.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20180804

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #425 on: 08/12/2018 06:32 AM »
Quote
New Horizons Spacecraft Sees Possible Hydrogen Wall at the End of the Solar System

Ryan F. Mandelbaum
Friday 4:42pm

As it speeds away from the Sun, the New Horizons mission may be approaching a “wall.”

The New Horizons spacecraft, now at a distance nearly four billion miles from Earth and already far beyond Pluto, has measured what appears to be a signature of the furthest reaches of the Sun’s energy—a wall of hydrogen. It nearly matches the same measurement made by the Voyager mission 30 years ago, and offers more information as to the furthest limits of our Sun’s reach.

https://gizmodo.com/new-horizons-spacecraft-sees-hydrogen-wall-at-the-end-o-1828258683

Offline Star One

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #426 on: 08/14/2018 07:58 PM »
NASA's Recent Pictures of Objects in the Kuiper Belt Just Broke Records

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3.79 billion miles away in the inky blackness of space, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft snapped two pictures and transmitted those images back to Earth. New Horizons’s December 2017 photoshoot now holds the record of being the farthest away a camera has ever been from our planet. The previous record was the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ image, taken by the probe Voyager 1 when it was 3.75 billion miles away in 1990.

New Horizons used its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) to photograph two objects in the Kuiper belt, a cluster of dwarf planets — including Pluto — and space rocks at the fringe of our solar system. The Kuiper belt contains celestial leftovers from the birth our solar system. So while the images of 2012 HZ84 (on the left) and 2012 HE85 might not look like much, they can provide insights into the beginnings of our solar system.

https://futurism.com/nasas-recent-pictures-of-objects-in-the-kuiper-belt-just-broke-records/amp/

Offline Star One

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #427 on: 08/22/2018 08:16 PM »
August 22, 2018
New Horizons Begins Its Approach to Ultima Thule
NASA Spacecraft Speeding Toward New Year's Flyby in the Kuiper Belt
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is officially on approach to its next flyby target, the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule.

At 4:52 a.m. EDT on Aug. 13, the mission operations team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, confirmed through NASA's Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia, that New Horizons had successfully transitioned from spin mode into 3-axis mode. "This means the spacecraft has now been positioned and configured to start approach operations," said Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman, of APL.

Observations New Horizons will make of Ultima over the next four months will help the mission team refine the spacecraft's course toward a closest approach to Ultima, at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1, 2019. The Ultima flyby will be the first-ever exploration of a Kuiper Belt object and the farthest exploration of any planetary body in history, shattering the record New Horizons itself set at Pluto in July 2015 by about 1 billion miles.

"It's exciting!" Bowman said. "We've now traveled almost 90 percent of the way from Pluto to Ultima Thule, and making final preparations for the flyby this winter."

At the time of confirmation, New Horizons was 3.84 billion miles (6.18 billion kilometers) from Earth, its systems operating normally, speeding along at 31,320 miles (50,868 kilometers) per hour. The spacecraft was just 108 million miles (174 billion kilometers) from Ultima, officially named 2014 MU69.

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #428 on: 08/23/2018 07:33 PM »
The spacecraft was just 108 million miles (174 billion kilometers) from Ultima, officially named 2014 MU69.

Major discovery, metric conversions get all screwy out past the planets.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #429 on: 08/23/2018 08:19 PM »
The spacecraft was just 108 million miles (174 billion kilometers) from Ultima, officially named 2014 MU69.

Major discovery, metric conversions get all screwy out past the planets.

Think it is easier to grasp the distances in the Kuiper Belt with the amount of time required for light to travel from one point to another point.

Offline Star One

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #430 on: 08/29/2018 06:38 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.

Mission team members were thrilled – if not a little surprised – that New Horizons’ telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was able to see the small, dim object while still more than 100 million miles away, and against a dense background of stars. Taken Aug. 16 and transmitted home through NASA’s Deep Space Network over the following days, the set of 48 images marked the team’s first attempt to find Ultima with the spacecraft's own cameras.

"The image field is extremely rich with background stars, which makes it difficult to detect faint objects," said Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist and LORRI principal investigator from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “It really is like finding a needle in a haystack. In these first images, Ultima appears only as a bump on the side of a background star that’s roughly 17 times brighter, but Ultima will be getting brighter – and easier to see – as the spacecraft gets closer.”
 
This first detection is important because the observations New Horizons makes of Ultima over the next four months will help the mission team refine the spacecraft's course toward a closest approach to Ultima, at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1, 2019. That Ultima was where mission scientists expected it to be – in precisely the spot they predicted, using data gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope – indicates the team already has a good idea of Ultima’s orbit.

The Ultima flyby will be the first-ever close-up exploration of a small Kuiper Belt object and the farthest exploration of any planetary body in history, shattering the record New Horizons itself set at Pluto in July 2015 by about 1 billion miles.  These images are also the most distant from the Sun ever taken, breaking the record set by Voyager 1’s “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth taken in 1990. (New Horizons set the record for the most distant image from Earth in December 2017.) 

“Our team worked hard to determine if Ultima was detected by LORRI at such a great distance, and the result is a clear yes,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “We now have Ultima in our sights from much farther out than once thought possible. We are on Ultima’s doorstep, and an amazing exploration awaits!"

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ultima-in-view-nasa-s-new-horizons-makes-first-detection-of-kuiper-belt-flyby-target

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #431 on: 08/30/2018 02:14 PM »
Not sure anyone but trajectory geeks care, but I worked out for New Horizons, roughly how much of the launch speed and energy were provided by the kick stage, and how much by the Atlas 551 launch vehicle.  The calculation is done in both C3 and Earth relative velocity.  Basically, the Atlas pushed about 2619 kg to a C3 of 37.6 km^2/sec^2, and the kick stage did the rest to push 478 kg to a C3 of 157.74 km^2/m^s.

Offline CuddlyRocket

Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #432 on: 08/31/2018 07:58 AM »
... Ultima, officially named 2014 MU69.

It's not named 2014 MU69; that's a designation! [/pedantry :) ]

Offline Star One

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New Horizons updates
« Reply #433 on: 09/03/2018 08:17 PM »
Tweet from Alan Stern.

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AS OF TODAY (!), New Horizons is just 1 Astronomical Unit (AU) to our next target, the KBO Ultima Thule (aka 2014 MU69)!

And we're homing in to be there and explore it on New Years Eve and New Years Day!

Mark your calendars and join us!

https://twitter.com/AlanStern/status/1036610888734633985
« Last Edit: 09/03/2018 08:19 PM by Star One »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Offline worldtimedate

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Re: New Horizons updates
« Reply #435 on: 10/11/2018 09:54 PM »
Nasa spacecraft set to visit most distant object ever

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Nasa's New Horizons probe is on course to flyby the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule this new year, an event that will set the record for the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft, scientists say. The spacecraft has successfully performed the three and half-minute manoeuvre on October 3 to home in on its location, Nasa said in a statement. This slightly tweaked the spacecraft's trajectory and bumped its speed by 2.1 metres per second keeping it on track to fly past Ultima officially named 2014 MU69 - on January 1, 2019.

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At 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth, Ultima Thule will be the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft. New Horizons itself was about 6.35 billion kilometres from home when it carried out Wednesday's trajectory correction maneuver (TCM), the farthest course-correction ever performed. This was the first Ultima targeting maneuver that used pictures taken by New Horizons itself to determine the spacecraft's position relative to the Kuiper Belt object.

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This was the first Ultima targeting maneuver that used pictures taken by New Horizons itself to determine the spacecraft's position relative to the Kuiper Belt object. These "optical navigation" images - gathered by New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) - provide direct information of Ultima's position relative to New Horizons, and help the team determine where the spacecraft is headed. "The images help to determine the position and timing of the flyby, but we must also trust the prior estimate of Ultima's position and velocity to ensure a successful flyby," said Nelson. The spacecraft is just 112 million kilometres from Ultima, closing in at 51,911 kilometres per hour.

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