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Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-20, 02:04 AM
New Horizons should be around 225,000 miles from Earth. Which is the average distance from Earth to Moon.

Where is everyone getting 9 hours from? Even if I count from the time of last separation, I get well less than that to reach lunar orbit.

Unless they were comparing Apollo 11's actual flight path--which really is a bad comparison.

Kelfazin
2006-Jan-20, 03:27 AM
New Horizons should be around 225,000 miles from Earth. Which is the average distance from Earth to Moon.

Where is everyone getting 9 hours from? Even if I count from the time of last separation, I get well less than that to reach lunar orbit.

Unless they were comparing Apollo 11's actual flight path--which really is a bad comparison.

From the New Horizons Launch Press Kit (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/images/mainPage/NHLaunchPressKit1_06.pdf)

After it separates from the third stage, New Horizons will speed from Earth at about 16 kilometers per second, or 36,000 miles per hour – the fastest spacecraft ever launched. New Horizons will reach lunar orbit distance (about 384,000 kilometers or 238,600 miles from Earth) approximately nine hours after launch

*bold mine*

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-20, 03:37 AM
9 hours * 36,000 miles per hour = 324,000 miles

238,600 miles / 36,000 miles per hour = 6 hours and 40 minutes

It separated the third stage 45 minutes into launch.

:confused: Am I missing something or has someone confused units?

238,600 miles / 9 hours = 26,500 miles per hour. Will NH slow down that much by the time it reaches lunar orbital distance?

Kelfazin
2006-Jan-20, 03:42 AM
Maybe the path it's taking is more of a diagnal across the earth's plane so it has to fly a little further to get to the moons orbit? Not sure..(not sure i'm even typing what I'm thinking correctly lol)

Maksutov
2006-Jan-20, 04:04 AM
Here's an animation of the flight path (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:New_Horizons_trajectory_animation.gif) by someone who should be rather familiar to BAUTers. As you can see, the path is not straight out, hence the additional time needed to cross the Moon's orbit at the current speeds.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-20, 04:12 AM
So the actual route is some 300,000 miles. Makes sense. According to the media release, the speed leaving Jupiter is 72,000 mph. The New Scientist article I reference in another thread is the speed of the probe as it passes through the Jovian system and mentions 75,000 mph. Obviously, it will lose a bit of speed as it passes out of the gravity well.

edit: those speeds should be in kilometers not miles.:doh:

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Jan-20, 06:13 AM
Actually the whole point of the gravity assist is to gain velocity relative to the sun by stealing momentum off of Jupiter's orbit around the sun. Granted, though, there is no net gain or loss of velocity relative to Jupiter.

Sticks
2006-Jan-20, 06:23 AM
Will it take any pictures on the Jupiter flyby?

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Jan-20, 06:25 AM
Will it take any pictures on the Jupiter flyby?

Course! By then they stop the spinning so the instrument platform can target.

Champion_Munch
2006-Jan-20, 10:10 AM
So the actual route is some 300,000 miles. Makes sense. According to the media release, the speed leaving Jupiter is 72,000 mph. The New Scientist article I reference in another thread is the speed of the probe as it passes through the Jovian system and mentions 75,000 mph. Obviously, it will lose a bit of speed as it passes out of the gravity well.

I think that's 75,000km/h, not miles per hour. :)

with regards

Launch window
2006-Jan-20, 10:41 AM
Will it take any pictures on the Jupiter flyby?

that should be great !

2006-Jan-20, 10:54 AM
Will it take any pictures on the Jupiter flyby?
Yes,
AFAIK it will be a flyby more or less the same Cassini did in 2000, but from a lesser distance so we'll have better pictures. :lol:

mauro

Champion_Munch
2006-Jan-20, 11:27 AM
According to wiki, it'll be quite a fair distance from Jupiter at it's closest approach:

The flyby will come within about 43 (&#177;5) Jovian radii of Jupiter and will be the center of a 4-month intensive Jupiter system observation campaign. Primary goals will include Jovian cloud dynamics, which were greatly reduced from the Galileo observation program, and readings from the magnetotail of the Jovian magnetosphere, along which New Horizons will fly.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Horizons

with regards

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-20, 12:14 PM
Actually the whole point of the gravity assist is to gain velocity relative to the sun by stealing momentum off of Jupiter's orbit around the sun. Granted, though, there is no net gain or loss of velocity relative to Jupiter.

NH will be going at 57000 kmph as it nears Jupiter. As it passes through the system, it will accelerate to 75000 kmph. When it climbs out of the gravity well, it will still be moving at 72000 kmph.

Nicolas
2006-Jan-20, 12:50 PM
All those velocities are relative to the sun. Relative to jupiter, it does not change, only in direction. If I understand everything :).

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-20, 02:50 PM
I think that's 75,000km/h, not miles per hour. :)

with regards
I think they were quoting CNN miles, not statute miles :lol:

I've been trying to summarize the speeds to understand the gravity wells, GA and so-on. I've got incomplete data, so maybe you can all help me fill it in. (since I've scored an incomplete, the following are approximates)

waypoint, T+, speed mph/kps
After stage 3 sep, 0:0:45, 36000/16
Lunar distance, 9:00, 36000/16
Mars distance, 3mon, 36000/16
Closest to jupiter, 12mon, 48000/21
after GA (near-0 Jupiter-G), 13mon, 47000/20
Pluto flyby, 9.5yrs, 47000/20

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-20, 03:15 PM
That's what I'm basing my figures on.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-20, 03:23 PM
I've been trying to summarize...

waypoint, T+, speed mph/kps
After stage 3 sep, 0:0:45, 36000/16
Lunar distance, 9:00, 36000/16
Mars distance, 3mon, 36000/16
Closest to jupiter, 12mon, 48000/21
after GA (near-0 Jupiter-G), 13mon, 47000/20
Pluto flyby, 9.5yrs, 47000/20[/quote]
Overtake Voy-2, 79yr, (dist=339 AU)
Overtake Voy-1, 147yr, (dist=627 AU)

ToSeek
2006-Jan-20, 04:36 PM
The figures in the Voyager thread are wrong. NH will never overtake Voyager 1 and will be traveling about the same speed out of the solar system as Voyager 2, so will either never overtake it or will take a very, very long time to do so.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-20, 06:09 PM
Post-launch update (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000436/)

Good news:

Though I haven't seen any actual numbers yet, provisional reports suggest we are very close to our planned trajectory, which is great news for the science team, because less of the spacecraft's fuel will be needed to fine-tune the trajectory to Jupiter, and more will therefore be available to steer us to a Kuiper Belt object after the Pluto encounter. We have also, as they say, "retired a lot of risk" -- the most dangerous part of the mission is over and the spacecraft is in the environment it was born for (as Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, space is a benign environment, at least for ships designed to sail in it). One of the ceremonies at the party was to burn copies of the very detailed contingency plans that had been developed to cover all possible launch failure scenarios. We won't be needing those any more.

Doodler
2006-Jan-20, 06:12 PM
Would we have been better off waiting the extra couple of years and skipping the Jupiter flyby? Maybe I'm off, but 15,000 extra MPH is going to mean a shorter window of observation for Pluto when it finally arrives...

Any thoughts from someone better connected?

ngc3314
2006-Jan-20, 06:31 PM
Would we have been better off waiting the extra couple of years and skipping the Jupiter flyby? Maybe I'm off, but 15,000 extra MPH is going to mean a shorter window of observation for Pluto when it finally arrives...

Funding agencies really like shorter mission times. Even during deep-space cruise, that's less time for things to go wrong. And a financial consideration enters, in how long they are prepared to pay for the necessary people on the ground (something that NH hibernation should help with) - this is where most of the money goes after launch. Not just operations staff, but engineers familiar enough with the gizmos for long-range troubleshooting.

And for missions this long, there is a certain level of what might delicately be called actuarial risk for key team members, which eventually has to be part of the operations plan. (One of the Galileo instrument principal investigators never got to see the instrument reach Jupiter).

Doodler
2006-Jan-20, 06:53 PM
Funding agencies really like shorter mission times. Even during deep-space cruise, that's less time for things to go wrong. And a financial consideration enters, in how long they are prepared to pay for the necessary people on the ground (something that NH hibernation should help with) - this is where most of the money goes after launch. Not just operations staff, but engineers familiar enough with the gizmos for long-range troubleshooting.

And for missions this long, there is a certain level of what might delicately be called actuarial risk for key team members, which eventually has to be part of the operations plan. (One of the Galileo instrument principal investigators never got to see the instrument reach Jupiter).

Funding is an issue, I do understand that, but when you're talking about the level of return from that investment, wouldn't a measurably longer observation window serve to aide the cause here? If they're concerned about where and tear on the probe from a longer cruise, then my advice would have been "Thou shalt not assume." Build it as if you missed Jupiter, so you're in a better spot when you can use the boost (it sounds like they did, or they would have simply ruled out a launch after February 2nd).

The personnel part sounds like an issue with multi-tasking. Hiring people to monitor ONE mission for the course of their careers is shortsighted. I can understand a few people on a 24 hour rotation, but then entire team could be rotated to other projects that don't require a full court press while cruising. You do, obviously, have specialists, but I can't imagine except in a mission like Magellan, Cassini or Galileo where you're spending a great deal of time on site observing, that you have a full team on hand all the time.

Also, if you do replace or supplement personnel after the fact, you'd hope the design/build/operations team documented the thing sufficiently that someone who's brought in after the fact can be quickly brought up to speed not only on its specs, but its quirks since its been in operation.

The actuarial issue is a non-starter to me, because it rather selfishly puts a limit on long range/long duration projects. I'm sure there were more than a few people who helped design, build and launch Voyager 2 had shuffled off the mortal coil by the time Uranus and Neptune were in the camera sights, even more now that they're in the top of the ninth in game three, so to speak, out in the heliopause. I can acknowledge how it is seen as delicate out of respect for the individuals who invested themselves on the project, at the same time, there are things which transcend the individual. If this is an actual consideration in mission design, its a very myopic one.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-20, 07:24 PM
PI's update (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.html)

No unexpected faults occurred during launch, and so far, the checkout procedures that mission control at APL have executed have gone well.

Initial trajectory solutions indicate our launch was almost perfect, needing just perhaps 20 meters/sec or so of makeup delta-V. This is far less than the 100 meter/sec we had budgeted for, meaning we have much more fuel for Pluto and Kuiper Belt encounters than our "3 sigma" planning had to allow for.

parallaxicality
2006-Jan-20, 07:31 PM
Shouldn't this be merged with the New Horizons Countdown thread?

Wolverine
2006-Jan-20, 07:38 PM
PI's update (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.html)

And related blog entry (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000438/).

Doodler
2006-Jan-20, 07:40 PM
Shouldn't this be merged with the New Horizons Countdown thread?

Nah, Countdown applied to the liftoff, we're underway now. Maybe fuse them to a single New Horizons thread, but they're pretty distinct from one another.

01101001
2006-Jan-20, 09:58 PM
Nah, Countdown applied to the liftoff, we're underway now. Maybe fuse them to a single New Horizons thread, but they're pretty distinct from one another.

Did not. Look at the first articles (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=35903). It was about New Horizon's encounter with Pluto.
The launch was but a blip along the way.

yaohua2000 should continue marking NH's progress through the solar system in the original thread. I'll continue marking NH's progress through the solar system in the comprehensive thread, along with the milestones.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-20, 10:22 PM
Would we have been better off waiting the extra couple of years and skipping the Jupiter flyby? Maybe I'm off, but 15,000 extra MPH is going to mean a shorter window of observation for Pluto when it finally arrives...

Any thoughts from someone better connected?

I asked that question here (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=2078) and got a few responses. The principal investigator and some other key people for the mission also post there, so you might keep an eye out for replies from them.

harlequin
2006-Jan-21, 03:41 AM
The figures in the Voyager thread are wrong. NH will never overtake Voyager 1 and will be traveling about the same speed out of the solar system as Voyager 2, so will either never overtake it or will take a very, very long time to do so.

The Voyagers started slower. So I am guessing that the Voyager probes got better speed increases from the sling shots using the gravity of the gas giants they passed?

ToSeek
2006-Jan-22, 02:56 AM
The Voyagers started slower. So I am guessing that the Voyager probes got better speed increases from the sling shots using the gravity of the gas giants they passed?

Yes, particularly since they got pushes from both Jupiter and Saturn, while NH will get Jupiter only.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-22, 02:59 AM
Would we have been better off waiting the extra couple of years and skipping the Jupiter flyby? Maybe I'm off, but 15,000 extra MPH is going to mean a shorter window of observation for Pluto when it finally arrives...

Arguments against from the UMSF thread and elsewhere include:

- Increased risk of mission failure
- Reduced power from the RTGs
and the biggie
- The sooner NH gets there, the more of an atmosphere Pluto will have

ToSeek
2006-Jan-23, 07:14 PM
NASA New Horizons "Tidbits" - 22 January 2006 (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=19345)

About the heliocentric distance, we will be inside 1 AU until late on 29 Jan UT. That makes us officially an inner planet mission for the first 10 days, I guess.

We will pass the orbit of Mars on 8 April, just a little after MRO gets there, and it had a 5.5 month head start.

Maksutov
2006-Jan-25, 01:23 AM
There's a show about New Horizons on the Science Channel tonight at 10 PM EDT. It's called Passport to Pluto (http://science.discovery.com/tvlistings/episode.jsp?episode=0&cpi=117319&gid=0&channel=SCI) and will be repeated later in the evening.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-25, 07:47 PM
'Best and Final' Trajectory Information for New Horizons Spacecraft and Launch Vehicle Upper Stage (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=19382)

ToSeek
2006-Jan-30, 06:18 PM
Where Is New Horizons? (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php)

ToSeek
2006-Jan-30, 06:41 PM
From the PI:

New Horizons performed its first trajectory correction maneuver, TCM-1A,
at 1900 UTC today. This was a 5 m/sec calibration burn and validation
burn of our propulsion system and delta-V thrusters in preparation for the
somewhat larger (12 m/s) TCM-1B maneuver set for 1900 UTC on Monday.

Together these two maneuvers (1A and 1B) will refine our Jupiter aim point
substantially to allow us to accurately hit the Jupiter Gravity Assist aim
point for Pluto and our desired 14 July 2015 arrival date.

TCM-2 is planned for 15 February. Given the early calibration numbers from
TCM-1A, we estimate this maneuver will be a clean up/tweak of about 1-2 m/s;
a more refined estimate for TCM-2 will be available after a couple of
weeks of DSN tracking.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-30, 10:30 PM
Report on TCM-1B:

We're on our way to the Pluto aim point! The 6% under-burn was very much like on TCM-1A, so the prop and GNC teams feel they have calibrated well now and future burns will be right on the money. Of course, when my kids get a 94 out of 100 on a test, I don't complain about the 6 points they lost, and the same applies to New Horizons: TCM-1A and 1B were successful. Go New Horizons!

-Alan

ps. By the way, Yanping and the mission design team believe TCM-1B, at 13.3 m/s, is likely the biggest TCM we will execute until we at Pluto. Amazing.

Planetwatcher
2006-Jan-31, 05:52 AM
So now was New Horizons launched with fastest, and most powerful rockets we have in use, or simply something fast enough to reach Jupiter next year?
Looking at http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Solar (Solar System Live) we won't be at the closest point to Jupiter's randavius until around June 10th. Seems to me that would have been the best launch window provided we had the neccessary propulsion technology to reach Jupiter in six months.
A shorter distance, and faster speed could have shaved off 6 months on the journey to Jupiter. That faster speed would also have meant a faster gravity assist for the remaining mission, which I'm sure could have cut the total mission journey even more. Possibley even to half of what it is now.

Perhaps I'm missing some point, for what if we had used a bigger, more powerful, and longer burning rocket to begin with, and perhaps shuttle type solid rocket boosters. Could that have made a difference, or is this pretty much as fast as current rockets can make, and in this case more power won't make a difference?

It would seem to me that the more you have and use, the faster you can go, but I also know that is only up to a certain point. After which you need something different to go any faster.

I suppose I'm sounding like Tim Allen now. Yeooooh. bigger, more power, like maybe Saturn V rockets, with Russian Buren SRBs. Get us there in 2 years instead of 10.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-31, 03:33 PM
So now was New Horizons launched with fastest, and most powerful rockets we have in use, or simply something fast enough to reach Jupiter next year?
Looking at http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Solar (Solar System Live) we won't be at the closest point to Jupiter's randavius until around June 10th. Seems to me that would have been the best launch window provided we had the neccessary propulsion technology to reach Jupiter in six months.
A shorter distance, and faster speed could have shaved off 6 months on the journey to Jupiter. That faster speed would also have meant a faster gravity assist for the remaining mission, which I'm sure could have cut the total mission journey even more. Possibley even to half of what it is now.

Astrodynamics is not that simple. I don't think we have the rockets to get to Mars in six months, let alone Jupiter.

My understanding is that there's something called Hohmann transfer orbits, which are the ideal, minimum-energy orbits that just touch the orbits of the starting planet and the destination. Obviously, then, you have to launch when the origin planet is at one point and the destination planet at the other at the same time you get there. The amount of energy to get from one planet to another goes up very, very rapidly the more you deviate from a Hohmann orbit. Blasting directly away from the Sun would require many times the energy of taking the roundabout approach, and I don't think even a Saturn V could have put New Horizons on that sort of course.

Saluki
2006-Jan-31, 05:06 PM
To Seek is right. Even if you could have gotten to Jupiter quicker, Pluto would not have been in the right place when you got there. Remember that all of the objects involved are moving, and selecting the correct launch window, and trajectory are vital to getting to the target when it is actually there.

publiusr
2006-Feb-01, 10:19 PM
You won't always be able to use Jupiter depending on where it is. Atlas V is powerful--but in terms of tons to LEO is is behind Titan IV and Proton.
HLLV allows you the ability to have a craft travel far, then slow, and stop.

No EELV will do that without a Titan type aerobrake. If you want on Europa or want to orbit Kuiper objects--support Magnum.

Launch window
2006-Feb-03, 12:23 AM
Where Is New Horizons? (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php)

publiusr
2006-Feb-03, 04:35 PM
That thing is really moving.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-09, 05:21 PM

As the New Horizons mission to Pluto prepared for launch in January, NASA presented a webcast in which scientists answered questions from the public. In this edited transcript, David Kusnierkiewicz, mission systems engineer for New Horizons, talks about the technology that will take the spacecraft to Pluto and beyond.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-10, 05:50 PM
Detailed update from PI Alan Stern:

New Horizons update: Cruising from Earth to Jupiter (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0602/09newhorizons/)

New Horizons continues to do well in flight - three weeks down and 492 to go. With more than 99% of the journey to the Pluto system still ahead of us, you might say we are just beginning - and we are. But we have retired much of the risk we worried about to reaching Pluto by getting a good launch and having our spacecraft perform well with most of its basic functionality now checked out. Recent tests have included checkout of our high-gain and medium-gain antenna communications, checkouts of the spacecraft's ability to autonomously find and point to the Sun and the Earth, and the calibration of our onboard gyros, technically called IMUs (short for Inertial Measurement Units).

ToSeek
2006-Feb-28, 05:35 PM
Behind the Pluto Mission: An Interview with Project Leader Alan Stern (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060228_stern_interview.html)

Of course Pluto is a planet: It’s massive enough to have its shape controlled by gravity rather than material strength, which is the hallmark of planethood. I think it’s exciting that we’re discovering whole new classes of planetary bodies like the ice dwarfs, of which Pluto is the charter member.

ToSeek
2006-Mar-02, 06:12 PM

As the New Horizons mission to Pluto prepared for launch in January, NASA presented a webcast in which mission scientists answered questions from the public. In this edited transcript, project scientist Harold Weaver Jr. talks about what we could learn about Pluto and the outer solar system when the spacecraft arrives at its destination nine years from now.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Mar-06, 12:32 AM
Just a quick update with an eye toward the subject header.

NH is, timewise, a little over halfway to Mars. In terms of actual placement, it is about quarter of the way from Earth orbit to Mars orbit. It should cross in front of Mars in about another five weeks.

Launch window
2006-Mar-09, 08:43 PM
The Pluto Mystique

Is it a planet, a comet, an asteroid or a KBO? Binay Malakar tries to solve an enduring puzzle
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=24&theme=&usrsess=1&id=108963
THE National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a US government organisation involved in space research and space travel, launched the first-ever mission – ‘New Horizons’ — to Pluto from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla on 19 January. This mission would explore both Pluto and Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). The 478.5 Kg, piano-shaped spacecraft is the fastest ever launched, speeding away from the Earth at approximately 58,000 Km/hour on a path that will take it more than 3´109 miles toward its primary target. New horizons will zip past Jupiter for a gravity assist (Gravitational pull of Jupiter is nearly 2.7 times than that of the Earth, the mean value of acceleration of gravity at the visible surface of Jupiter is about 26 m/sec2) and science studies in February 2007 and conduct the first close, in-depth study of Pluto and it moons in summer 2015.
Even after 76 years since Pluto was discovered by a 24-year-old American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh on 18 February 1930, the information on Pluto could be written on the back of a postage stamp. New Horizons could make a difference to that.
But is Pluto a planet, a comet or an asteroid?

ToSeek
2006-Mar-10, 01:58 AM
New Horizons Adjusts Course Toward Jupiter

With a 76-second burst from its thrusters today, New Horizons cleaned up the last of the small trajectory “dispersions” from launch and set its course toward next February’s gravity-assist flyby of Jupiter.

Changing the spacecraft’s velocity by about 1.16 meters per second, the maneuver was the smallest of the three New Horizons has carried out since launch on Jan. 19, and the first conducted with the spacecraft in three-axis pointing mode. It also aimed New Horizons toward the Pluto “keyhole” at Jupiter – the precise point where the giant planet’s gravity helps swing the spacecraft toward the close flyby of the Pluto system on July 14, 2015.

When the maneuver started at noon EST, New Horizons was about 51.7 million kilometers (32.1 million miles) from Earth, moving along its trajectory at 37.5 kilometers (23.3 miles) per second. Mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., monitored spacecraft status through NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna station near Canberra, Australia.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Mar-15, 01:12 AM
New Horizons has passed the halfway point between Earth orbit and Mars orbit.

publiusr
2006-Mar-15, 08:48 PM
Now that's moving.

Sticks
2006-Mar-15, 09:27 PM
Now that's moving.

Blub blub past the hankerchief please :cry:

ToSeek
2006-Mar-29, 09:15 PM
New Horizons Payload Gets High Marks on Early Tests (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/032906.htm)

In-flight checks of the New Horizons science payload are going well, as six of the seven instruments on board have completed tests proving they survived launch and demonstrated their basic functionality.

Titana
2006-Apr-04, 04:16 AM
New Horizons Payload Gets High Marks on Early Tests (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/032906.htm)

That is just great..!....;)

Titana

Lord Jubjub
2006-Apr-06, 12:41 AM
As stated in the other NH tracking thread, it will cross Mars orbit within the next 24 hours.

The next waypoint I'm tracking is in the asteroid belt as it passes the orbit of Ceres, the largest asteroid and 413,900,000 km from the Sun (Mars is about 227,000,000). This should happen some time in late fall if my calculations are correct.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Apr-07, 09:56 PM
NH crossed Mars' orbit at a point near its aphelion. It is actually only about 170,000,000 km from Ceres' orbit. This distance should be crossed in about 125 days if my numbers are right (anyone have better info?).

That would place NH at that point around August 9th.

publiusr
2006-Apr-12, 09:15 PM
This is the kind of performance you get with bigger LVs. Give not only Glushko the credit for the RD-180 derivitive of his Zenit motor--but give thank to General Moorman and the fine people and Lockheed. We tend to forget the LV providers as we shower praise upon payloaders.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Apr-15, 03:26 AM
OK, the new information they posted on the NH website helps tracking a bit. Going by the numbers on the nineplanets.org (http://nineplanets.org) website.

The Asteroid Belt starts at about 2 AU. With NH at 1.77 AU, it should cross into the AB within the next three weeks and should cross the average orbits and Hephastus and Gaspra about a week later. It appears that around early September, it will leave the AB behind.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Apr-19, 12:18 AM
OK, the new information on the NH website helps a bit. nineplanets.org (http://nineplanets.org) states that the Asteroid Belt goes from 2-4 AU. Going by those numbers, New Horizons (now 1.77 AU from the Sun) should cross that line in about two weeks. The first substantial asteroid orbits will be Haphaestus at 2.15 AU and Gaspra 2.2 AU (average orbits).

I calculate that NH is receding from the Sun at a pace of about 0.018 AU per day.

ToSeek
2006-Apr-29, 03:09 AM
Latest update:

New Horizons in Space: The First 100 Days

April 29 marks another milestone in New Horizons’ historic journey to Pluto – the spacecraft’s 100th day of flight.

“It’s been a good flight so far, and we’re working to keep it that way,” says New Horizons Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Since launch on from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 19, it has also been a busy flight. Among many activites, the mission team has conducted three small trajectory correction maneuvers, which exercised the spacecraft’s propulsion system and refined New Horizons’ path toward Jupiter for a gravity assist and science studies in February 2007; upgraded the software that controls the spacecraft’s flight computers; and carried out rigorous tests proving that all seven onboard science instruments survived launch and have their basic functions.

Having passed the orbit of Mars on April 7, the spacecraft continues to zoom toward the outer solar system, moving about the Sun at more than 69,570 miles (111,960 kilometers) per hour.

“On a voyage to Pluto that will take nearly a decade, 100 days might not seem like much,” says Alan Stern, mission principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. “But the team has accomplished a lot in that short time, and the mission is going exceptionally well. Now we’re working hard to calibrate the scientific payload and prepare the science instruments and spacecraft for our encounter with Jupiter, just 10 months ahead.”

The team will begin rehearsing for that trip through the Jupiter system – putting the spacecraft and instruments through the actual paces of the flyby – later this year, after the science payload is fully commissioned this summer.

ToSeek
2006-May-02, 08:04 PM
Latest PI update:

"Exploration at Its Greatest"
May 1, 2006

With the rush of events surrounding launch over, I am back to writing this column about once per month. We're more than 100 days into flight now, and in every respect, New Horizons continues doing fine.

As you know, the New Horizons mission team spent the first couple of months checking out the spacecraft subsystems and making our initial post-launch trajectory correction maneuvers. All of that went exceedingly well: We have a very healthy spacecraft flying right on its intended course to the Pluto aim point it must reach at Jupiter on February 28, 2007.

April included our crossing the orbit of Mars (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/040706.htm), outbound at over 75,000 kilometers an hour (47,000 miles/hour), on April 7. That was a nice milestone, but the biggest spacecraft event of the month was a new software load for our Command and Data Handling (C&DH) system. This load, called C&DH 3.5, went up and on line a few days before we crossed the orbit of Mars — on April 5. C&DH 3.5 contained a fix for a bug that we wanted to protect against well before we update the code in a more extensive way after the summer. That code version, called C&DH 4.0, will include a variety of capability enhancements, including data-compression capabilities we'll need for downlinking Pluto data.

I'll have more to say about the C&DH 4.0 load in a few months. For now, I just want to say that the 3.5 load is up and running as expected. To invoke a new C&DH load after it is transmitted up to the bird, one has to reboot the main spacecraft computer. So you can imagine how much care, how many design reviews, how much event simulation, and how much nail biting was involved in planning for this. Of course, the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) spacecraft and mission ops teams made it look easy on April 5, which is a real sign of the careful advance work put in over several weeks leading to that big day.

With the spacecraft doing well, most of the activities of April centered on instrument checkouts. Ralph, our main remote-sensing suite, and REX, our radio science experiment, both performed flawlessly in their initial functional checks. These occurred on March 21 and April 19, respectively.

Additionally, the SWAP solar wind detector, which opened its launch door on March 13 (the 151st anniversary of Percival Lowell's birthday, no less!), turned on its detectors on March 28 for the first time. All went well.

Meanwhile, the LORRI imaging team has been collecting pre-door-opening calibration images to characterize their detector noise in flight. They are seeing some additional, nuisance-level noise events over what was seen on the ground. This is common when you get your instrument into the space environment, and something we expected since our spacecraft is carrying an RTG that was installed after the instrument calibrations. In fact, we expect the Ralph and Alice detectors to see the same kind of elevated, but still nuisance-level, noise when they calibrate in May.

Speaking of May, both PEPSSI (on May 3) and Alice (on May 20) will soon open their detector doors. Carefully, step by step, both of these instruments will then be fully powered and have their detectors turned on for "first light" measurements shortly thereafter. Next up: Ralph's front door will open on May 29. But since Ralph's door has a see-through window, first light and some early calibrations will be made on May 10. These will each be big milestones: we are opening up our "eyes" to space!

Yet another milestone will be our first "AU crossing," which will occur on May 7 when our spacecraft crosses 2 Astronomical Units (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/science/glossary.html#au) and is twice as far from the Sun as the Earth. We'll have 31 more AU to go to reach Pluto, but just 3.2 AU to go to reach Jupiter.

ToSeek
2006-May-02, 08:06 PM
Where Is the Centaur Rocket? (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_5_1_2006_2.php)

Some of you have been asking what became of our Atlas' Centaur stage. As background, our Atlas first stage and its solid rocket booster never were intended to make it into Earth orbit, so they are resting at 1 AU, deep under the Atlantic Ocean; and our uppermost, STAR-48 stage that sent us on our way to Jupiter and Pluto, is headed to Jupiter and the Kuiper Belt, just like New Horizons. But the Centaur, which propelled us into Earth orbit and then out of it, isn't on an escape trajectory from the Sun. Instead, it's on an orbit that takes it from about 1 AU out just over halfway to Jupiter.

Faster Communications (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_5_1_2006_3.php)

Finally, I just want to point to an exciting new prospect for New Horizons at Pluto itself: faster data rates. Our APL-based telecommunication team, led by Chris DeBoy, has worked out a way to use our redundant (opposite polarization) transmitters simultaneously to double our data rates. This "pump you up" technique will be tested later this year and used from time to time to reduce our need for downlink time on the Deep Space Network (DSN) on the way to Pluto.

When we reach Pluto, we plan to use the higher data transmission rates to cut the time required to send all of our data home in half—from what was almost 9 months, to just under 4.5 months. Even more impressively, the higher data rate will allow us to send home a "lossy compression" dataset with all of our spectra, all of our images, and all of our other data products within just two or three weeks of encounter! After all the years of delayed gratification that this mission entails, this is welcome news indeed. After all, everyone will be on the edge of their chairs in the summer of 2015 to see Pluto revealed — scientists and laypeople alike!

Swift
2006-May-02, 08:15 PM
On the same page as ToSeek's link about the Centaur Rocket is this:

And while we're on trajectory matters, it's worth noting that we have just realized that New Horizons itself will be traversing through one of the Trojan regions of Neptune in 2014. For a long time, astronomers wondered if there were asteroids trapped in Neptune's Trojan regions, but in recent years a few have been discovered. These fascinating bodies probably represent a sample of the most primitive bodies in the solar system, like comets and Kuiper Belt objects.

It looks like they will take a look in 2014.

Lord Jubjub
2006-May-07, 03:46 AM
New Horizons has passed the point 2 AU from the Sun. It is now in the Asteroid Belt and will remain there until it crosses the 4 AU point. At a rough estimate, this should happen in late August.

I will be ticking off the major and some minor asteroid orbits.

Lord Jubjub
2006-May-19, 11:36 PM
OK, I've found this interesting bit in NASA's website. http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/orbits/

From the animation, I see that Hephaistos is a waste of time. Its orbit comes nowhere near NH. But I see that at 2.16 AU, New Horizons has crossed Vesta's path.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jun-02, 03:16 AM
Speaking of the Asteroid Belt, this has been posted to the NH site.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php

Expect to hear something about an encounter with an asteroid about the middle of June.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jun-11, 07:26 PM
New Horizons will cross Gaspra's orbit today. It is nearing the quarter-way point through the Asteroid Belt.

Saluki
2006-Jun-13, 02:29 PM
Has anyone seen images from the 2002 JF56 encounter? I know they won't be much to look at, but it would still be nice to get something new from NH.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jun-14, 11:13 AM
The website hasn't acknowledged it yet. Probably something will be put up today.

Romanus
2006-Jun-14, 02:34 PM
If it took any pictures, they may not be for public consumption; perhaps they're simple calibration images, in which Stern et al. would just feel like it's not worth posting, especially since there's no detail.

ToSeek
2006-Jun-15, 08:46 PM
Has anyone seen images from the 2002 JF56 encounter? I know they won't be much to look at, but it would still be nice to get something new from NH.

Your wish is my command. (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/missionPhotos/pages/asteroid.html)

Maksutov
2006-Jun-16, 01:10 AM
As we all learned from the doomsday show that was on last night, the asteroid belt is a densely packed region of huge space rocks, something like this (http://evula.org/solarsystem/Resources/Asteroid-Belt.gif).

Therefore, good luck, New Horizons, in finding a narrow pathway through that thick boulder field!

Swift
2006-Jun-16, 12:42 PM
As we all learned from the doomsday show that was on last night, the asteroid belt is a densely packed region of huge space rocks, something like this (http://evula.org/solarsystem/Resources/Asteroid-Belt.gif).

Therefore, good luck, New Horizons, in finding a narrow pathway through that thick boulder field!
Good thing New Horizons is equiped with this new defensive system for Asteroids

:p

Trantor
2006-Jun-16, 02:10 PM
As we all learned from the doomsday show that was on last night, the asteroid belt is a densely packed region of huge space rocks, something like this (http://evula.org/solarsystem/Resources/Asteroid-Belt.gif).

Therefore, good luck, New Horizons, in finding a narrow pathway through that thick boulder field!

Kind of looks like the asteroid field that Han Solo managed to get thru. Maybe we can get him to help us out here.:D

Saluki
2006-Jun-16, 02:13 PM
Your wish is my command. (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/missionPhotos/pages/asteroid.html)

Thanks. That is actually better than I expected. You can get a rough idea of the shape of the target from that pic.

Its too bad LORRI isn't usable yet.

parallaxicality
2006-Jun-16, 04:46 PM
Am I wrong to be all excited? I mean we still have nine years to go, but this is like one long Christmas Eve for me.

Saluki
2006-Jun-16, 05:12 PM
Am I wrong to be all excited? I mean we still have nine years to go, but this is like one long Christmas Eve for me.

I check the "Where is New Horizons now?" page a couple times a week. Even though the green line doesn't grow very fast, it is growing.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jun-28, 10:59 PM
New Horizons is passing the orbit of Ceres today.

The asteroid itself passed this point in February of last year and won't be back in this neighborhood until late in 2009.

publiusr
2006-Jun-29, 07:19 PM
Amazing. That's speed.

ToSeek
2006-Jun-29, 11:05 PM
Latest press release:

Student Dust Counter Renamed "Venetia," Honoring Girl Who Named Pluto

The student-built science instrument on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto has been renamed to honor one of astronomy’s most famous students - the “little girl” who named the ninth planet more than 75 years ago.

For the rest of the New Horizons spacecraft’s voyage to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt beyond, the Student Dust Counter - the first science instrument on a NASA planetary mission to be designed, built and operated by students - will be known as the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter, or “Venetia” for short. The tag honors Venetia Burney Phair, who at age 11 offered the name “Pluto” for the newly discovered ninth planet in 1930.

“I feel quite astonished, and to have an instrument named after me is an honor,” says Mrs. Phair, now 87 and living in Epsom, England. “I never dreamt when I was 11, that after all these years, people would still be thinking about this and even sending a probe to Pluto. It’s remarkable.”

The instrument is set to begin full science operations in July after a series of post-launch tests and checkouts. Click here for the full story, or visit http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/062906.html.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-04, 01:27 AM
New Horizons is presently as close to the Sun as it is to Jupiter.

parallaxicality
2006-Jul-04, 09:10 AM
“I feel quite astonished, and to have an instrument named after me is an honor,” says Mrs. Phair, now 87 and living in Epsom, England. “I never dreamt when I was 11, that after all these years, people would still be thinking about this and even sending a probe to Pluto. It’s remarkable.”

Not to jinx it, but here's hoping she lives to see her world close up. Shame Clyde didn't.

Kind of looks like the asteroid field that Han Solo managed to get thru. Maybe we can get him to help us out here.

To be fair, Lucas atoned for that one. In Attack of the Clones he restaged the same sequence in the rings of a gas giant.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-10, 10:12 PM
New Horizons has passed the orbit of the asteroid Hygiea. It is nearing the midway point through the Asteroid Belt.

Blob
2006-Jul-12, 11:57 PM
New Horizons Digital Time Capsule
Entry Deadline Extended to November 1, 2006
One Grand Prize Winner will win a trip to the Applied Physics Laboratory to witness New Horizons' encounter with Jupiter on February 27-28, 2007!

The Planetary Society, in conjunction with the New Horizons mission, invites children and adults around the world to send a message to future Earth -- a New Horizons Digital Time Capsule from those who launched the mission to the inhabitants of Earth who receive its results nearly a decade later.

ToSeek
2006-Jul-14, 02:11 PM
Latest update from the PI:

Nine Years to the Ninth Planet, and Counting (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php)

It's been six weeks since my last column here, and a lot has taken place. Here's a short list of highlights:

New Horizons successfully conducted an asteroid flyby test of its moving target image motion compensation system (more on that below).
The names we nominated for Pluto's two recently discovered small moons, Nix (the inner one) and Hydra (the outer one), were approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Continued successful testing of the SWAP and PEPSSI plasma/high energy particle detector suite aboard New Horizons.
Successful beam mapping tests of the REX-High Gain Antenna pattern.
Uploading of an updated (yes, "new and improved") release of the onboard fault detection and correction "autonomy" software that watches over New Horizons.
A spin-up maneuver that took New Horizons out of three-axis attitude control and placed it back in its 5 RPM axial spin to save fuel and place us in a more robust mode for the upcoming flight software loads of August and September.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-15, 01:14 AM
The blog mentions that at the end of July, New Horizons will be passing the distance of Ceres. That is true, but Ceres' orbit is rather more elliptical than that of the major planets. NH passed the orbit of Ceres at a point where that orbit is much closer to the Sun than it is now.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-19, 09:55 PM
New Horizons crosses the orbit of the asteroid Encke, today.

ToSeek
2006-Jul-20, 04:17 AM
Encke is an asteroid and a comet?

parallaxicality
2006-Jul-20, 05:39 AM
and a ring division?

Superluminal
2006-Jul-20, 05:41 PM
IIRC there is an asteroid as well as a comet Encke.

Blob
2006-Jul-20, 06:07 PM
Hum,
Comet 2P/Encke does looks like an asteroid...

Articles pertaining to the Taurid Complex (http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/taurid.html)
Could an asteroid be a comet in disguise? (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1985Sci...227..930K)
Asteroids with Comet-Like Orbits: Elements and Positions (http://www.physics.ucf.edu/~yfernandez/lowtj.html)

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-20, 10:03 PM
If it walk like a duck and quacks like a duck. . .er. . .asteroid. . .:shifty:

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jul-24, 02:28 AM
Well, I'm going on vacation for the next three weeks and won't be able to mention the following orbits:

Around July 26, NH should cross the midpoint of the asteroid belt and pass the orbit of Ida.

Around the 1st of August, NH will pass between the orbits of Eumonia and Pallas. These two asteroids' orbits are well off the ecliptic.

Edit: Eumonia and Pallas milestones were passed on August 3rd.

Around August 6 or 7, NH will pass through the orbit of an asteroid named Europa. Not quite sure why it got that name. . .

Edit: Europa's orbit will be passed this Saturday (I think).

Lord Jubjub
2006-Aug-16, 01:13 AM
hmmmm. . .call the crossing sometime Sunday or Saturday.

As an interesting note. . .NH has lost a quarter of its outward speed since launch. It was travelling at 32 km/s in respect to the sun at about laumch, but its speed is down to about 24 km/s today.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Aug-16, 10:41 PM
I wonder if the APL website on NH will include Ceres in their planet orbitals?
Next week, it appears I may edit my posts to indicate that NH crossed the orbit of the planet Ceres.

ToSeek
2006-Aug-17, 02:00 PM
Latest New Horizons press release:

New Horizons Salutes Voyager

As New Horizons cruised toward the edge of the asteroid belt and a date with Jupiter, the spacecraft that revolutionized our knowledge of that giant planet more than 25 years ago made history again this week. On Aug. 15, NASA’s enduring Voyager 1, already Earth’s farthest-flung robotic ambassador, became the first spacecraft to reach a distance of 100 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun.

That’s 100 times farther from the Sun than the Earth is, equivalent to 9.3 billion miles or 15 billion kilometers. Though New Horizons will also reach 100 AU, it will never pass Voyager 1, because Voyager was boosted by multiple gravity assists that make its speed faster than New Horizons will travel. Voyager 1 is escaping the solar system at 17 kilometers per second. When New Horizons reaches that same distance 32 years from now, propelled by a single planetary swingby, it will be moving about 13 kilometers per second.

"Voyager blazed an historic trail of exploration across the giant planets and out into the distant heliosphere. Now New Horizons follows, almost 30 years later, exploring the Sun's population of Kuiper Belt ice dwarfs for the first time," says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute. "From the generation of New Horizons explorers to the Voyager generation of explorers, we say congratulations on reaching 100 AU, you showed us all the way, keep exploring, onward, ever onward!"

New Horizons will reach 100 AU in December 2038, long after the probe passes through the Pluto system and enters the Kuiper Belt. But another milestone occurs much sooner: next week New Horizons crosses the outer boundary of the main asteroid belt at 3.3 AU (nearly 307 million miles, or 494 million kilometers) from the Sun, just seven months after launch.

Follow New Horizons on its own voyage: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php (http://216.194.206.90/Redirect/pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php).

Lord Jubjub
2006-Aug-22, 09:55 PM
New Horizons has left the Asteroid Belt. . .well, the main Asteroid Belt. Jupiter and Mars herd the asteroids into specific resonant orbits and NH has just finished crossing the last major one. There are a few stray asteroids left before the probe is out of the AB altogether.

The orbit of the asteroid Juno passes over New Horizons's current position.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Aug-31, 11:11 PM
New Horizons has come within 2 AU of Jupiter, today.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-01, 07:51 PM
Latest press release:

LORRI Sees ‘First Light’

The highest-resolution camera on New Horizons is seeing stars, and mission scientists and engineers couldn’t be more excited.

This week the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) opened its protective cover and took its first image in space, of Messier 7, a star cluster in our Milky Way galaxy. With that electronic snapshot, all seven New Horizons science instruments have operated in space and returned good data since the spacecraft launched in January 2006.

Developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), which also built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, LORRI is the long focal length, reflecting telescope on New Horizons, designed to acquire the highest-resolution images of Pluto and its moons during a flyby in summer 2015.

"LORRI is our 'eagle eyes' on New Horizons, providing the most detailed images we have," says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colo. "This week’s virtuoso first-light performance by LORRI is the best news any Pluto fan could hope for."

For the full story and images, visit: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/090106.html (http://216.194.206.90/Redirect/pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/090106.html)

Wolverine
2006-Sep-01, 09:27 PM

ToSeek
2006-Sep-01, 09:43 PM
The two threads are a little confusing - I was saving the other one for Yaohua's countdown, but he hasn't been able to maintain it.

EDIT: So I've closed it. We can stick to this one for keeping track of New Horizons.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Sep-02, 03:49 AM
Well, I do have his countdown program running on my computer. Right now, I'd be content to keep progress according to the leftmost two digits.

My widget says 4,241,282,000--except that the 2,000 has dropped down below that as I type this.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-02, 04:03 AM
Be my guest - I've re-opened the thread.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Sep-02, 06:48 PM
I meant that I could keep track of the distance milestones on this thread. But I don't have any problems using both threads.

ToSeek
2006-Sep-03, 01:56 AM
How about we use the other thread for milestones and this one for news and events?

Lord Jubjub
2006-Sep-03, 08:06 PM
I'll go with that. At this distance, I'll only update every 100,000,000 kilometers.

Launch window
2006-Sep-04, 04:31 PM
Latest press release:

Messier 7 looks great, taking its first pictures of the Jupiter system on Sept-4th

ToSeek
2006-Sep-21, 09:32 PM
Changing Seasons on the Road Trip to Planet 9 (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php)

(Do you think he's trying to make a point with that title?)

Just when you think you've accounted for everything that can go wrong:

We were also surprised to experience a planned spacecraft turn on Sept. 4 that sliced the Sun briefly across the open telescopes of Ralph and LORRI. The combination of the planned, high spacecraft turn rate and our great distance from the Sun (then already 3.45 astronomical units) didn't result in any damage we can detect in either instrument, but nonetheless this accident could and should have been prevented by command load checking software. To ensure it never happens again, we've added additional check steps to the mission simulation codes run against every command load before it is sent to New Horizons.

(I used to work with Val Mallder - designer of the bumper sticker - when I was at APL. Good to see she's moving up.)

Lord Jubjub
2006-Sep-26, 10:27 PM
New Horizons passed under the orbit of asteroid Davida today. It wil finish through the last band of the Asteroid Belt in early November.

Now, is that Dah-VID-a, Dah-VEE-da, DAH-vid-a, DAY-vid-a or Day-VI-da?

Saluki
2006-Oct-03, 06:36 PM
NH is now less than 28 AU from Pluto.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Oct-22, 10:33 PM
New Horizons will pass 4 AU from the Sun within the next 12 hours. It will cross the orbit of the last major asteroid of the Belt within the next week.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Oct-31, 11:41 PM
New Horizons is passing through the orbit of Toutatis, pretty much the last asteroid in the Asteroid Belt. The next orbit it will pass will be Jupiter's.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Nov-02, 12:36 AM
Latest from Alan Stern (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php), head of New Horizons.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Nov-04, 01:27 PM
New Horizon's speed is down to 21.42 km/s, roughly 2/3rds of its original speed of 32 km/s

cyswxman
2006-Nov-10, 01:35 PM
When will it get close enough to Jupiter that its speed will increase?

antoniseb
2006-Nov-10, 06:39 PM
When will it get close enough to Jupiter that its speed will increase?
When Cassini was headed out passed Jupiter, I watched the velocity very carefully on the webpage, and noticed that about 30 days away from Jupiter there were some detectable variations in the speed. It's an interesting game/puzzle. You can do it too.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Nov-11, 03:27 AM
When will it get close enough to Jupiter that its speed will increase?

Check out the New Horizons-Jupiter thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=46875). It's been buried for awhile but it will be resurrected as the probe gets closer. I calculated that 24,000,000 km would be the tipping point.

ToSeek
2007-Jan-04, 06:38 PM
New Horizons In 2007 (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Horizons_in_2007_999.html)

Turning now to the new year, 2007, our Jupiter encounter has just begun. In total, it'll span the six-month period from January through June. In future columns here, I'll provide many more details. I plan to write those at an increasing pace until we pass Jupiter at the very end of February.

For now, I'll just say that our mission and payload operations teams, working with our Jupiter Encounter Science Team (JEST), have been striving to plan and test over 100 Jupiter observing sequences comprising over 700 separate observations of Jupiter. The first of these occurred on January 5th, with a REX radio calibration using Jupiter. Over the next couple of weeks of January, PEPSSI and SWAP will continue to observe the interplanetary medium as we approach Jupiter, and Ralph and LORRI will begin imaging the giant planet. If you're following closely on our web site, you'll see us posting a New Horizons Jupiter image of the week every week beginning in mid-January.

ToSeek
2007-Jan-23, 11:12 PM
One Year Down, Eight to Go (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php)

A year ago this past Friday, on January 19, 2006, New Horizons lifted off on a pillar of smoke and fire and began its journey to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.
...
We are now in full swing doing Jupiter approach observations. Already, our SWAP and PEPSSI instruments are measuring the particle environment upstream of Jupiter, looking for the first signs of the giant planet's magnetospheric influence, which we hope to detect early next month. At the same time, our LORRI and Ralph imagers are already training themselves on Jupiter, assessing its meteorological state and using its satellites for both optical navigation practice and calibration targets. So too, our REX radio science package has begun testing using the Jupiter system as a calibration source, and our Alice ultraviolet spectrometer will begin an intensive set of observations of Jovian aurora and the Io plasma torus in just over a month.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Jan-24, 11:32 PM
Give or take a fraction, New Horizons is 5 AU from the Sun. It is also 5 AU from the intersection with Saturn's orbit.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Feb-14, 01:37 AM
Even though the Jupiter encounter (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=46875&page=3) is in another thread, I'll mention here that New Horizons entered the Jovian system today. It's speed is 19.47 km/s.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Feb-25, 02:58 PM
New Horizons is roughly on the line of Jupiter's orbit. The gravity has been bending the probe's path so it is falling into Jupiter from 'behind'.

CuddlySkyGazer
2007-Feb-26, 10:11 PM
Amuses me how they're now oh-so-careful not to state what kind of body is Pluto. Bit sensitive, with Stern in charge!

Planet X
2007-Feb-28, 06:27 AM
Closest approach to Jupiter occurred at 05:43:40 UTC Feb 28th, at a speed of 22.86 km/s. NH came to within 2.3 million km of Jupiter's center.

At 06:07:12 UTC, NH reached yet another milestone when it reached 800 million km from the sun. Now, it's on to Pluto! NH is currently 3.937 million km from Pluto. Later!

J P

ToSeek
2007-Feb-28, 01:59 PM
I'm going to try to make it to the lecture at APL tonight. I'll report back afterwards.

Launch window
2007-Feb-28, 05:23 PM
At 06:07:12 UTC, NH reached yet another milestone when it reached 800 million km from the sun. Now, it's on to Pluto! NH is currently 3.937 million km from Pluto. Later!

J P

great news ! The photos of Jupiter's Moons look great

jfribrg
2007-Feb-28, 09:27 PM
The NH web site shows the speed as 23.27. That is quite an improvement (about 900 mph) over where it was at perijove. I expected it to start slowing down since Jupiter and the Sun are now both pulling in the same general direction. Can I conclude from this that they did a burn?

Planet X
2007-Mar-02, 03:30 PM
NH is currently 3.937 million km from Pluto. Later!

J P

Whoops! That should have been 3.967 billion km to Pluto! My bad!

J P

parallaxicality
2007-Mar-02, 03:47 PM
Yeah, I was thinking, man that trip went fast!

Lord Jubjub
2007-Mar-17, 05:51 PM
One thing I missed at about the time New Horizons crossed Jupiter's orbit was that it also crossed above the orbit of Agamemnon. This object orbits from well below and just inside Jupiter's orbit at this point to well above Jupiter and just outside at the opposite end of its orbit. Agamemnon is presently 70 degrees ahead of Jupiter and moving upward. It will cross the plane of the solar system in October.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Mar-27, 03:06 AM
New Horizons went into safe mode for awhile. The details here (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php).

Thankfully, they actually saw it go into safe mode in real time. Recovery was fairly quick and the interruption in the data collection has not had a noticeable effect.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Jun-21, 02:25 AM
New word (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php) from APL. Basically, everything is going fine and the Pluto target date is apparently the prime date for viewing it.

2007-Jun-24, 09:09 AM
Everything is going smoothly for this mission, apart from the trip up back in the middle of March this year. The science data from this mission is tremendous, they obtained unprecedented detailed images of Jupiter, especially of Red Spot jr.

July 14th 2015 was the original date for the flyby of Pluto & nothing has happened to make the controllers change this date of arrival!

The spacecraft is now more than 120 million miles from Jupiter!

Lord Jubjub
2007-Jun-29, 12:16 AM
New Horizons is preparing for bed (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php). It has been successfully put into hibernation mode.

Planet X
2007-Jul-06, 09:31 PM
Important milestone! On 07/06/2007, at 21:30:30 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached it's first 1 billion km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is 870.4 million km. NH is now less than 3.72 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 20.6 km/s. Later!

J P

2007-Jul-09, 12:18 PM
This is impressive! 1 billion km is a very long way to go but that is nothing compared to what is left to cover!

Lord Jubjub
2007-Aug-06, 11:22 PM
New Horizons is 7 AU from the Sun. It has only a little further to go to be clear of Jupiter's orbital clearance. Then NH will be passing through the Centaurs.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Aug-16, 11:11 PM
Is New Horizons dreaming of electric sheep? It is currently in sleep mode.

It also passes under the orbit of a centaur dubbed 2000 GM137, today.

Planet X
2007-Sep-10, 08:38 AM
UPDATE! On 09/10/2007, at 08:36:45 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1100 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is nearly 1.108 billion km. Halfway between the mean orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, NH is now less than 3.616 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 19.97 km/s. Later!

J P

Nicolas
2007-Sep-10, 09:13 AM
Thousands of years of technological pogress have allowed us to throw stuff really really hard. :)

It's amazing how fast this thing is going, interesting to see it slowing down because the sun keeps pulling, and the fact that it will still take years gives a sense of the huge distance between us and Pluto.

I hope the craft remains in excellent health and will show us some really nice science when it wakes up again.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Nov-02, 11:46 PM
There is actually stuff out here besides the gas giants. New Horizons passes over the orbit of the innermost named Centaur today--Asbolus.

Asbolus was a centaur from Greek mythology who was killed by Heracles.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Nov-08, 12:38 AM
A bit of news (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php) from the New Horizons team. NH is about to go into deep sleep. The rest of the post is about the importance of archiving data properly.

Planet X
2007-Nov-15, 11:10 AM
UPDATE! On 11/15/2007, at 11:04:35 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1200 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is nearly 1.332 billion km. NH is now only 3.514 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 19.463 km/s. Later!

J P

Lord Jubjub
2007-Dec-04, 02:17 AM
OK, tick off another asteroid. New Horizons passed under the orbit of Echeclus over the weekend.

Sticks
2007-Dec-04, 06:12 AM
OK, tick off another asteroid. New Horizons passed under the orbit of Echeclus over the weekend.

Any piccys?

parallaxicality
2007-Dec-04, 02:34 PM
I think it just passed the orbit, not the Centaur itself.

I should mention this now, because I'm going to be in the air when it happens:

On December 7, exactly one Martian year will have passed since New Horizons was launched.

Saluki
2007-Dec-04, 03:36 PM
On December 7, exactly one Martian year will have passed since New Horizons was launched.

LOL! This really brings home the length of the mission. We are stretching to find new and unique milestones for NH to pass.

When do we reach a Ceresian year?

parallaxicality
2007-Dec-04, 04:12 PM
In 925 days.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Dec-11, 10:38 PM
New Horizons passes another asteroid orbit, passing under Okyrhoe's. It will be another couple of months before the next milestone.

01101001
2008-Jan-18, 02:36 AM
One Year Down, Eight to Go (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php)

(On January 19) Two years down, seven to go.

New Horizons website: Happy Birthday New Horizons! Two Years on the Road to the Ninth Planet (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspectives/piPerspective_current.php) (January 17, 2008)

[...] it’s been a great second year that included a phenomenally successful Jupiter encounter, a course correction, our first annual checkout, and science team work to begin in earnest the planning for the encounter at Pluto, still seven years hence.

[...]

As you can see by visiting our Where Is New Horizons, we are now nearing a distance of 9 Astronomical Units from the Sun and speeding onward. This time next year, we’ll already be almost halfway between 12 and 13 AU!

parallaxicality
2008-Jan-18, 04:33 AM
Again with the ninth planet thing. In italics no less. What will it take for this guy to give up?

Swift
2008-Jan-18, 05:07 AM
\kids in the back of the car voice\
ARE WE THERE YET?

Sticks
2008-Jan-18, 06:06 AM
\kids in the back of the car voice\
ARE WE THERE YET?

I need a wii

2008-Jan-20, 02:59 PM
All's going well for this mission! :) I keep tabs on it constantly!

Congratulations to the team for such good work.

Planet X
2008-Jan-21, 02:43 PM
UPDATE! On 01/21/2008, at 05:10:15 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1300 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is nearly 1.419 billion km. NH is now only 3.414 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 19.026 km/s. Later!

J P

01101001
2008-Jan-25, 09:58 PM
Pluto in Hi-Def (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=83)

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/thumbs/lorri_pluto_im01_1x1_oct2007_ppt.png (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=83)

This image demonstrates the first detection of Pluto using the high-resolution mode on the New Horizons Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). The mode provides a clear separation between Pluto and numerous nearby background stars. When the image was taken on October 6, 2007, Pluto was located in the constellation Serpens, in a region of the sky dense with background stars.

Johns Hopkins University APL press release: A Hi-Def Peek at Pluto (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/012408.htm)

Planetary Society Weblog: Pluto is still a long, long way away (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001307/)

Today the New Horizons team released an image of Pluto taken from their spacecraft. Even though it has been in space for two years, New Horizons still has seven years to go before its Pluto encounter begins, and Pluto remains a tiny, tiny dot to New Horizons' highest-resolution camera. In fact, with Pluto still 3.6 billion kilometers away, New Horizons cannot even separate the light from Pluto and Charon -- the dot in the middle of the image below represents the combined light of both objects. The caption released with the image says that New Horizons should start being able to separate the two in summer 2010.

2008-Jan-26, 12:27 PM
I was looking at the image only yesterday - it seems incredible that a small spacecraft can take images of objects situated more than 3.5 billion miles away! And that with less than 1 second of exposure time!!!! The image probably only has a few 100 photons from Pluto y Charon combined!

jfribrg
2008-Jan-29, 02:12 AM
Again with the ninth planet thing. In italics no less. What will it take for this guy to give up?

There is a very strong correlation between being paid for researching Pluto and insisting that it is a major planet. Let's not complain too much. At least we have a probe on the way. 10 years ago, it seemed unlikely that a probe to Pluto would occur at all.

Sticks
2008-Jan-29, 06:13 AM
Let's not complain too much. At least we have a probe on the way. 10 years ago, it seemed unlikely that a probe to Pluto would occur at all.

Was there ever a danger that some bean counter would use the downgrading of Pluto to pull the plug on NH? :sad:

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jan-30, 10:18 PM
No, once the probe is launched all the thereus money has been spent. . . excuse me . . . serious (Thereus (http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=Thereus&orb=1) is the asteroid whose orbit New Horizons is currently passing under :whistle:) . . . and the additional money to monitor the probe over the next 8 years is probably less than 1% of the total cost of the mission.

Sorry, I've been staring at that pun for the last year. :shifty::lol:

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jan-31, 01:18 AM
And, by the way, the magic number is now 3.4. . .

. . .billion kilometers.

ToSeek
2008-Feb-22, 02:43 AM
New Horizons Crosses 9 AU (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/022108.htm)

New Horizons passed a planetary milepost today at 5 a.m. EST when it reached a distance of 9 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun – about 836.6 million miles, or nine times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. “The spacecraft destined for the ninth planet is now just beyond 9 AU and continuing outbound for the solar system’s frontier at more than 60,000 kilometers per hour!” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of NASA Headquarters.

New Horizons has covered nearly 970.5 million miles (1.56 billion kilometers) since its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on January 19, 2006. Speeding toward Pluto at about 42,000 miles (67,500 kilometers) per hour, New Horizons will zip past the orbit of Saturn – where the Cassini spacecraft now operates – on June 8. That crossing will make New Horizons the farthest spacecraft on its way to or at its primary target.

New Horizons itself won’t have long to enjoy this latest accomplishment, though, as mission operators will put the spacecraft into regularly scheduled hibernation this afternoon at 3:50 p.m. EST.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Feb-23, 12:47 AM
I calculate that around 21 July, NH should be 3,141,592,653.5 kilometers from the sun. Must remember that date. . .

ravens_cry
2008-Feb-23, 08:24 AM
But, really Lord Jubjub, that date is just a pi in the sky estimate, am I right?

ToSeek
2008-Feb-24, 04:44 AM
But, really Lord Jubjub, that date is just a pi in the sky estimate, am I right?

It's a gigapi estimate. ;)

laurele
2008-Feb-24, 06:37 AM
Again with the ninth planet thing. In italics no less. What will it take for this guy to give up?

Hopefully, nothing will make him give up. He's clearly trying to make a point. Why should he or anyone else accept a sloppy definition that makes no sense and was adopted by a tiny minority of the world's astronomers?

Lord Jubjub
2008-Mar-16, 05:29 PM
New Horizons just passed

3,333,333,333.3

kilometers away from Pluto.

Planet X
2008-Mar-29, 08:48 PM
UPDATE! On 03/28/2008, at 16:30:15 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1400 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is 1.372 billion km. NH is now only 3.314 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 18.628 km/s. Later!

J P

01101001
2008-Apr-07, 06:43 PM
Planetary Society Weblog: Frame a Pluto portrait (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001388/)

[...] Now the New Horizons team is deep into the planning of the Pluto flyby, and again they don't have the time to devote to an exhaustive search for "Kodak Moments." Again John Spencer has invited public contributions to the hunt. You have to have a little bit of expertise to take advantage of the planning tools, but I know there are a lot of enthusiasts out there with the knowledge and interest necessary to allow you to participate in the search for the most beautiful images that might be taken at Pluto.

UnmannedSpaceflight :: New Horizons :: Kodak moments at Pluto: Help requested (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=5061)

We are deep in the process of planning the Pluto encounter (we're doing it now while all the essential people are still on the payroll!), and following the great success of our Jupiter "Kodak moment" program (thanks Hendric!), we are once again soliciting help from UMSF in planning scenic imaging of the Pluto system. Unlike at Jupiter, the only time when bodies in the Pluto system occult each other is within an hour of closest approach, when we'll be too busy for purely scenic imaging, but there may be interesting alignments or other opportunities at other times.

To help find these opportunities, Henry Throop has kindly made available his New Horizons Geometry Visualizer, NHGV, which is the science team's prime geometry planning tool. It's at http://soc.boulder.swri.edu/nhgv . The tool shows the view of selected targets from the spacecraft at any time during the encounter. Below is some more detailed information from Henry.

We'd like inputs by early June if possible- thanks in advance!

djellison
2008-Apr-07, 10:35 PM
It's not going to be anywhere near as cool as for Jupiter - the exciting opportunities are all within a several hour total keep-out zone during closest approach and as such they're dedicated (quite rightly) to pure science, not kodak moments.

But the last chance for full family portraits on the inbound leg, and some nice look backs on the outbound leg should be interesting.

That the NH team ask at all is just extraordinary, and exemplary.

Doug

borman
2008-Apr-08, 03:38 AM
Charon is thought to have a signature of crystalline ice. In the event this is caused by cryovolcanism or even geysers like those seen at Enceledus, it may be of value to know when a grazing star as a backdrop can assist in determinging the density of a plume similar to that done recently at Enceladus. NH only gets one pass at this system and may have to look to grab the data earlier if the grazing star is only available early.

djellison
2008-Apr-08, 07:41 AM
They'll be doing that for both bodies I would imagine, as well as watching radio occulsions thru the atmosphere. That will fall into the science side of the planning, not the kodak moments :)

Doug

Lord Jubjub
2008-Apr-09, 01:47 AM
I think they'll try to all FOUR of the bodies, though I don't know what kind of angle they are going to get with Nix and Hydra.

borman
2008-Apr-10, 04:03 PM
While I don't recall a fresh ice signature was reported for Pluto, Nix and Hydra have not yet been searched for the signal.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Apr-12, 03:22 AM
3.3 slipped past me earlier.

Down another 100,000,000 kilometers.

and we do have another 8 years or so to find pure ice signatures in the bodies under question.

borman
2008-Apr-13, 11:02 PM
They'll be doing that for both bodies I would imagine, as well as watching radio occulsions thru the atmosphere. That will fall into the science side of the planning, not the kodak moments :)

Doug

The concern is that the grazing star might only be availabe during the period devoted to kodak moments and not during the anticipated science phase. I would imagine the science phase would trump the kodak phase in the event they overlapped.

Lord Jubjub
2008-May-12, 02:37 AM
Deep in the emptiness, the centaur Elatus spins through space. New Horizons, as it hurtles toward its encounter with Pluto, has crossed its orbit tonight.

Lord Jubjub
2008-May-13, 09:40 PM
New Horizons is approximately halfway between the Sun and Uranus.

parallaxicality
2008-May-13, 09:48 PM
*says nothing*

Actually, as well as pointedly not commenting on New Horizons being halfway to Uranus, I should add the following milestone:

As of last Friday, NH has been travelling for exactly half of a Cerean year.

Yes. It is completely random and meaningless.

ToSeek
2008-May-29, 09:26 PM
Milestones Ahead: New Horizons Set to Cross Saturn’s Orbit (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/052908.htm)

New Horizons reaches the first milestone just before going back into hibernation. On June 2, the spacecraft will be 10 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun. One AU is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, about 93 million miles (or 149 million kilometers). New Horizons will be 930 million miles, or just about 1.5 billion kilometers from the Sun.

On June 3, the mission team will celebrate the spacecraft’s 866th day in flight – or one-quarter of its 3,463-day (9.5-year) journey to Pluto. New Horizons will pass its halfway mark to Pluto in another 866 days, on Oct. 17, 2010.

Most notably, however, on Sunday, June 8, the spacecraft will cross the orbit of Saturn, though Saturn itself is nowhere near the course New Horizons is following to Pluto. “This milestone is significant because the last time any spacecraft journeyed beyond Saturn was 27 years ago, in August 1981, when Voyager 2 passed Saturn on its way to encounters with Uranus and Neptune later in the 1980s,” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

Launch window
2008-Jun-03, 01:07 PM
one-quarter of the journey done !

antoniseb
2008-Jun-03, 01:39 PM
one-quarter of the journey done !
If you're talking about distance, that was the fast quarter.

Planet X
2008-Jun-04, 07:12 PM
UPDATE! On 06/04/2008, at 18:05:25 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1500 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is 1.352 billion km. NH is now only 3.219 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 16.921 km/s. Saturn orbit crossing is now just 4 days away. Later!

J P

Sticks
2008-Jun-04, 09:16 PM
pity we could not get a slingshot from Saturn and get to Pluto faster

Or would that have caused problems?

01101001
2008-Jun-04, 09:38 PM
Or would that have caused problems?

Saturn was way out of the way.

The images at Where is New Horizons? (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php) will give you some idea of the arrangement.
(JPL Solar System Simulator (http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/) can help you explore other dates than now.)

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jun-06, 11:20 AM
The faster the probe is going, the less time it has to take pictures.

The main motivation for the Jupiter encounter was to get New Horizons to Pluto before the atmosphere froze out. With that danger taken care of, I think Stern would prefer a slower encounter.

If they could have somehow gotten NH into a capture orbit, they would have.

dmuller
2008-Jun-06, 11:30 AM
Saturn was way out of the way.
New Horizons will cross the Saturn orbit on 08 June 2008 at 08:16am SCET UTC. Saturn will reach the same point (in the xy plane) on 02 Sep 2017 15:49 Saturn time. The xy-plane error of this analysis is around 380 km.
A rush-release of the New Horizons simulation is now posted at http://www.dmuller.net/newhorizons

Daniel

Sticks
2008-Jun-06, 02:01 PM
The faster the probe is going, the less time it has to take pictures.

OK

I see your point, I was just getting a little inpatient

NEOWatcher
2008-Jun-06, 03:14 PM
I see your point, I was just getting a little inpatient
Ouch, that's worse than outpatient.

ravens_cry
2008-Jun-07, 07:49 AM
I checked out the real time simulation on the link in dmuller's signiture. It engrossing and almost hypnotic watching the numbers count down.

mahesh
2008-Jun-07, 01:56 PM
Yes, thanks Daniel! It's brilliant!

counting the moments to Saturn!

bunker9603
2008-Jun-07, 02:47 PM
I concur the real time simulation is fun to watch. Your site is fantastic Daniel!

01101001
2008-Jun-07, 03:38 PM
I concur the real time simulation is fun to watch. Your site is fantastic Daniel!

dmuller does good stuff. As I mentioned in the Phoenix EDL topic, I enjoyed his Mars Phoenix landing page. I followed one countdown in my imagination, in Mars-event times, did a hopeful happy dance, then switched over to the Earth-received-time countdown as events became known on Earth 15 minutes later.

Sticks
2008-Jun-07, 03:41 PM
Out of curiosity, shouldn't the time elapsed on NH be shorter than the elapsed yime on Earth due to Special Relativity?

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jun-07, 05:34 PM
If you're talking about distance, that was the fast quarter.

No, that is the chronological quarter. The distance quarter was late last year at 8.77 AU.

The distance halfway point should be around 14 June 2010. The chronological halfway will be 16 Oct of that same year.

dmuller
2008-Jun-07, 06:43 PM
Out of curiosity, shouldn't the time elapsed on NH be shorter than the elapsed yime on Earth due to Special Relativity?
Theoretically yes, but in practice the effect is negligent, given that NH travels at less than 0.0001% the speed of light. AFAIK relativistic effect do have a very minor but noticeable effect on Messenger (being closer to the Sun and in a steeper time-space)

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jun-08, 02:46 PM
New Horizons is now the fifth furthest manmade craft from the sun.

slang
2008-Jun-08, 02:53 PM
Just out of curiosity, does that include the final stages of the Voyager/Pioneer launchers?

dmuller
2008-Jun-09, 03:20 AM
Just out of curiosity, does that include the final stages of the Voyager/Pioneer launchers?

Using information provided by a very well informed source from http://tinyurl.com/5qk8fq, I'd say that by now Phoenix has overtaken its 3rd stage (it was 5 hours or so behind it at Jupiter, but will be months ahead at Pluto).

Given that the upper stages have less-than-perfect flybys at Jupiter, Saturn etc as compared to their spacecraft, I would say it's safe to say that these stages should be behind their spacecraft (since they didnt pick up as much speed during flybys). The only possible exception here could be Pioneer 11.

But I dont know the extent of this. I may try to run it through some simulations but not sure if I can get any results out of it.

slang
2008-Jun-09, 10:33 PM
Given that the upper stages have less-than-perfect flybys at Jupiter, Saturn etc as compared to their spacecraft, I would say it's safe to say that these stages should be behind their spacecraft (since they didnt pick up as much speed during flybys). The only possible exception here could be Pioneer 11.

I wouldn't doubt that for a second. I'm just wondering if spent rocket stages of the voyager/pioneer launches could be further away than New Horizons.

Maybe I should put a little background on that.. AFAIK we have a lot of hardware still circling around in the solar system, most of which is of course dead, and much of the rest never meant to be 'alive'. I recently read (on Wiki probably..) that one of the moon landers is still in heliocentric orbit. That kind of info fascinates me.. it's like there's a museum out there for whenever we get the means and technology and will to go look at it.

But I dont know the extent of this. I may try to run it through some simulations but not sure if I can get any results out of it.

Well don't go through too much trouble on my account, it's just a curiosity for me.

Romanus
2008-Jun-09, 10:34 PM
AFAIK, the Voyager and Pioneer upper stages are far outside of the Solar System, just like their probes.

mahesh
2008-Jun-10, 11:30 AM
New Horizons is now the fifth furthest manmade craft from the sun.
thank you. and i continue to be under hyponsis at Daniel Muller's page :)

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jun-18, 02:22 AM
My countdown shows a 3 followed by a 2 and nothing but zeros after that.

dmuller
2008-Jun-23, 04:13 AM
I have added a "progress" update to the simulation (http://www.dmuller.net/newhorizons/)... shows percentage of flight to Pluto covered (by flight distance and flight time). Next up: Uranus orbit crossing in a little under 1,000 days, well, in other words: tomorrow :doh:

Swift
2008-Jun-23, 01:49 PM
\child mode\
ARE WE THERE YET?

parallaxicality
2008-Jun-23, 04:41 PM
/shifts over to Swift's seat and slaps him/

You're it!

Swift
2008-Jun-23, 04:52 PM
MOD! Parallaxicality is on my side of the spacecraft!

Sticks
2008-Jun-23, 07:10 PM
I need a WII

parallaxicality
2008-Jun-23, 07:57 PM
MOD! Parallaxicality is on my side of the spacecraft!

Swift started it!

2008-Jun-24, 10:26 AM
AFAIK, the Voyager and Pioneer upper stages are far outside of the Solar System, just like their probes.
which makes me wonder- what if the aliens find the upper stages and not the actual probes? i don't think they put those fancy gold record thingies on them like they did on the probes themselves.

dmuller
2008-Jun-24, 10:49 AM
which makes me wonder- what if the aliens find the upper stages and not the actual probes? i don't think they put those fancy gold record thingies on them like they did on the probes themselves.
They'll send us a fine for littering and driving an unregistered vehicle :lol:

Nasa0708
2008-Jul-27, 04:43 PM

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jul-29, 11:44 AM
This spacecraft is slowing down faster than I anticipated. It is traveling at 18.03 kps relative to the sun.

In about 6 hours, New Horizons will be one gigapi kilometers from Pluto.

3,141,592,653.5 kilometers

Edit: and now for a round number: 21.00 AU from Pluto

Swift
2008-Jul-29, 02:23 PM
Are we there yet?

Sticks
2008-Jul-29, 04:32 PM
Are we there yet?

I need a wii

Planet X
2008-Aug-12, 09:54 PM
UPDATE! On 08/12/2008, at 12:10:40 UTC, the NH spacecraft reached 1600 million km from the sun. The spacecraft's distance from Earth, by comparison, is 1.511 billion km. NH is now only 3.123 billion km from Pluto and traveling at a rate of 16.767 km/s. Later!

J P

parallaxicality
2008-Aug-13, 08:10 AM
MOD! Sticks keeps changing the channel from Billy and Mandy to the Powerpuff Girls!

antoniseb
2008-Aug-13, 11:51 AM
MOD! Sticks keeps changing the channel from Billy and Mandy to the Powerpuff Girls!
Can we try to keep this on topic please? Yes its a long trip, but we have a fun & games section so that these threads don't get overrun with humor and nonsense.

Nasa0708
2008-Aug-22, 01:20 PM

"Solar distance now 10.77 AU. Tomorrow the Student Dust Counter begins a calibration of noise thresholds & detector gains in quiet cruise."

...Hibernation wakeup and Active Checkout for 2008 begin in <2weeks: 2 September 2008.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Aug-28, 11:54 AM
The countdown continues. In about 5 hours, the magic number drops to 31 X 100,000,000 kilometers or

3.1 billion kilometers to Pluto

parallaxicality
2008-Aug-28, 03:36 PM
Why haven't we passed any centaur orbits? Surely we're in the forest by now.

sohh_fly
2008-Aug-28, 04:22 PM
the route that new horizons is taking , is that the fastest track to pluto,,?these trips are soooo painstakingly slow ....just curious if there's another route or approach to this mission

thx

Saluki
2008-Aug-28, 04:50 PM
the route that new horizons is taking , is that the fastest track to pluto,,?these trips are soooo painstakingly slow ....just curious if there's another route or approach to this mission

thx

LOL. This is the fastest probe ever launched. You are simply experiencing the vast distances between objects in the Solar system, especially the outer system.

Remember also that the faster the probe travels, the less time it has to study the target as it flys by.

bunker9603
2008-Aug-28, 07:19 PM
Remember also that the faster the probe travels, the less time it has to study the target as it flys by.

That is a good point.

sohh_fly
2008-Aug-28, 08:12 PM
that is a good point, but i think a few of these study objects have been study already or atleast should of been studied by galileo,cassini,both voyagers, and whatever else has made it that far ...
actually my question is more about propulsion speed more than travel speed if that makes any sense
i know that gravity assists are involved ,but how about a direct approach that doesn't involve wasted time by using these assists even tho no space exploration is a waste of time ..that would cut down on the travel time unless the trip would take even longer without the assists
the assists must be of importance or i dont think they would be used but is there a way around this and still keep the time to a minimum ?

thx

ozprof
2008-Aug-28, 08:26 PM
New Horizons only made one gravity assist flyby. This was with Jupiter. The aim of the gravity assist was to shorten the time it would take to get to Pluto.

The spacecraft is traveling the most direct route possible given the budgetary constraints (could not use a bigger booster) and the need for enough time to study Pluto when they get there.

Cheers

Swift
2008-Aug-28, 08:34 PM
that is a good point, but i think a few of these study objects have been study already or atleast should of been studied by galileo,cassini,both voyagers, and whatever else has made it that far ...

No, Pluto space has never been visited. And, as ozprof said, the one gravity assist around Jupiter was to speed it up, not to visit Jupiter.

sohh_fly
2008-Aug-28, 08:42 PM
swift
understandable

but what i am asking is
if the gravity assist around jupiter help speed it up ,and the contact point is let's say at the 12 o'clock position and jupiter's assist put's it on the right path to 12 o'clock , could we not just travel in a str8 line and cut the assist out ?
or this wouldn't be much help?
i hope this makes sense but if not i hope you'll get my drift

thx

Saluki
2008-Aug-28, 10:01 PM
swift
understandable

but what i am asking is
if the gravity assist around jupiter help speed it up ,and the contact point is let's say at the 12 o'clock position and jupiter's assist put's it on the right path to 12 o'clock , could we not just travel in a str8 line and cut the assist out ?
or this wouldn't be much help?
i hope this makes sense but if not i hope you'll get my drift

thx

The only way a spacecraft within the Sun's gravity well can travel in a "straight line" is under constant propulsion. There is no practical way to achieve the necessary acceleration, and no real value to doing so.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Aug-28, 10:03 PM
Why haven't we passed any centaur orbits? Surely we're in the forest by now.

Funny, you should ask. I have a list of thirteen named centaurs and the distance to each orbit. We have passed a couple of named centaurs already (look on pages 6 and 7) that were part of the near group.

The next one will be Chiron very late in December. Then there is another large gap until about 16 AU when NH will cross six orbits across a band of 2.5 AU. Another three are will be crossed at 21-23 AU with the final one, Huya, at 29.6 AU. I didn't track down the orbits of unnamed centaurs, though there are at least 10 times as many.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Aug-28, 10:05 PM
Sohh fly, that assist sped up New Horizons. Without Jupiter, NH doesn't reach Pluto until 2019.

sohh_fly
2008-Aug-28, 10:10 PM
saluki

thx for the clarification ......its just frustrating .... i guess i'll have to wait like every1 else:surprised

Lord Jubjub
2008-Aug-28, 10:23 PM
This (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Centaurs.html) is the site for the straight list of centaurs and scattered disk objects. Look for the 'Q' and 'q' columns for the aphelion and perihelion.

This (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/orbits/) is NASA's site that I use to estimate where New Horizons will cross an orbit.

jamesabrown
2008-Aug-29, 01:35 PM
It's a common misperception that the planets are closely huddled around a star that's maybe three or four times larger than Jupiter. I see it a lot in 'artist's illustration' graphics on the evening news, which suggests that probes ought to reach planets in a week or two. But as one particular author (http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/33085.html) put it:

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

To get a sense of how large our solar system is, I found a teaching tool (http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html) for astronomy classes that uses human objects to get a sense of the scale:

Put a bowling ball on the ground. That's the sun.

March 10 paces and put down a pinhead. That's Mercury.

March 9 paces and put down a peppercorn. That's Venus

March 7 paces and put down another peppercorn. That's Mother Earth. Our peppercorn home is 26 yards from the bowling ball that keeps us warm.

March 14 paces and put down another pinhead. That's Mars.

Now the big one. March 95 paces--almost a football field--and put down a pecan. That's the giant Jupiter. Can you see the bowling ball 135 yards away?

Think that's far? Now march 112 paces and drop an acorn. That's Saturn.

Think that's far? Now march 249 paces--two and a half football fields--and drop a peanut. That's Uranus.

Get ready. Now march 281 paces and drop another peanut. That's Neptune.

Finally, march another 242 paces and drop another pinhead. There's our final destination. Pluto.

More than half a mile--1019 yards in total--from a bowling ball to Pluto.

Seriously. Space is BIG!

Romanus
2008-Aug-31, 03:25 PM
^
As an aside, at that scale Proxima Centauri would be about 3,847 miles away.

parallaxicality
2008-Aug-31, 04:04 PM
and Eris would be 2516 yards away

Lord Jubjub
2008-Sep-30, 09:42 PM
An coincidental pair of numbers today:

New Horizons is 11.17 AU from the Sun and traveling 17.77 km/s away from it.

01101001
2008-Oct-08, 12:31 AM
In 8 days: 1000 days

JHUAPL New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php)

It’s hard to believe, but Oct. 15 will be the 1,000th day of flight for New Horizons. And in that time we’ve traveled so far that only four other spacecraft – Pioneers 10 and 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 – have ventured farther. Can you believe it’s been this long? Sometimes it seems so, but other times, it seems like we just blasted off from Florida on that cool afternoon of Jan. 19, 2006.
[...]

Much more there.

On the 15th, New Horizons will mark 1000 days in flight! To celebrate, we're setting up a URL for your thoughts & wishes. Get yours ready. 05:19 AM October 04, 2008

Hanno the Navigator
2008-Oct-09, 11:17 AM
A question:

With the price so high and the wait so long, why NH is not an orbiter?

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-09, 12:03 PM
A question:

With the price so high and the wait so long, why NH is not an orbiter?
Speed...

I don't know the numbers, but to get there requires a lot of speed. That means it would need considerable thrust to slow it to orbital speed. Add that to the weight of the launch, increase the size of the launch vehicle to accomodate the added weight, and I doubt we have the vehicle.

Hanno the Navigator
2008-Oct-09, 02:10 PM
Hmm... It would be interesting to see the mathematics. Maybe using more gravity assists (like Cassini) would've allowed lower initial speed and thus more initial mass. But I'm just guessing here.

antoniseb
2008-Oct-09, 02:15 PM
It takes Pluto 240 years to orbit the Sun. A mission to rendezvous with it would take 60 years to get there. If Pluto had a significant atmosphere you could go faster and use aero-braking... but it doesn't.

djellison
2008-Oct-09, 03:13 PM
Hmm... It would be interesting to see the mathematics.

Biggest expendable LV they could find ( Atlas V 551 ), smallest vehicle they could build ( <500kg ), and the biggest gravity exist they could get ( Jupiter ) and it takes 9.5 years to get to Pluto.

There is no means, currently, to launch a vehicle big enough to get to Pluto within a reasonable time frame, and once there, break into orbit. It would have to shed 12km/sec to get under Pluto's escape velocity.

It took that massive Atlas V rocket, pushing only that tiny payloard, to get NH to the 16km/sec it got at launch. You would need something nearly as big just to slow it down enough to go into Orbit.

Until we come up with something a lot better, New Horizons really is the very best we can do.

Doug

Hanno the Navigator
2008-Oct-09, 03:40 PM
Will an Ares V be enough to get something into Pluto orbit?

And what about Neptune or Uranus orbit. Is the aerobraking enough to do it with an Atlas V?

Hanno.

antoniseb
2008-Oct-09, 04:15 PM
Will an Ares V be enough to get something into Pluto orbit?

Probably not. But what's the hurry? Why not wait until we have the technology to get there some other way. If we don't get a Pluto orbiter/lander probe launched until 2108, what do we lose?

And what about Neptune or Uranus orbit. Is the aerobraking enough to do it with an Atlas V?

It depends on the size of the probe. Something as big as Cassini could probably not get there that way... but for a probe to have enough power to communicate back to Earth from there would probably require an on-board fission reactor, so it would be big, and won't be launched any time soon.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-09, 04:16 PM
Will an Ares V be enough to get something into Pluto orbit?
Can an Ares V launch an Atlas V as payload into a Pluto trajectory? Then yes.
(question inspired by djellison's post)

Planetwatcher
2008-Oct-13, 08:33 AM
This is a very interesting topic, and one I've been thinking about lately.
What I've been wondering is, suppose hypotheticly, a probe like NH were launched from the ISS instead of Earth's surface on an Atlas V, or whatever can achieve the best velocity, under either proven, or currently attainable propulsion technology.

If such a probe was launched from ISS with the fastest proven, attainable, or combination of technologies, under the most ideal conditions of planetary line up for taking advantage of LaGrange points, and or gravity assists, how fast could the probe potentually go? What kind of time line are we looking at to pass lunar orbit, Mars orbit, Jupiter, and the others out to Pluto? And supposing again that Eris (however it's correctly spelled) was on the same plane and in line, how long?

I'm not too interested in aero-braking or slowing down in this senerio, just a time line and with what? Perhaps full sized Saturn V surrounded by Shuttle type SRBs, solar sails, ion drive, nuclear core superheating and expanding a hydrogen fuel before it's expelled. A combo of any and or something else. Just curious of the max speed we have the ability to reasonably achieve under the best circumstances.

djellison
2008-Oct-13, 09:23 AM
Perhaps full sized Saturn V surrounded by Shuttle type SRBs, solar sails, ion drive, nuclear core superheating and expanding a hydrogen fuel before it's expelled. A combo of any and or something else. Just curious of the max speed we have the ability to reasonably achieve under the best circumstances.

That's your idea of reasonable? We do not have the means to put a Shuttle SRB into orbit, we do not have the means to make a Saturn V, let alone somehow get the most powerfull LV launched, into orbit.

Reasonably achieved? I think the best we can reasonably achieve is what NH achieved.