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Thread: Progress of New Horizons in the Solar system

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlequin
    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.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler
    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
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  3. #33
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    NASA New Horizons "Tidbits" - 22 January 2006

    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.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Progress of New Horizons in the Solar system

    There's a show about New Horizons on the Science Channel tonight at 10 PM EDT. It's called Passport to Pluto and will be repeated later in the evening.

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    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    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.
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  8. #38
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    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.
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  9. #39
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    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.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planetwatcher
    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.
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  11. #41
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    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.

  12. #42
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    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.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    great link !

  14. #44
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    That thing is really moving.

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    Questioning Pluto

    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.
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  16. #46
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    Detailed update from PI Alan Stern:

    New Horizons update: Cruising from Earth to Jupiter

    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).
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  17. #47
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    Behind the Pluto Mission: An Interview with Project Leader Alan Stern

    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.
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  18. #48
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    To Pluto and Beyond

    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.
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  19. #49
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    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.

  20. #50
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    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.new...ss=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?

  21. #51
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    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.
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  22. #52
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    New Horizons has passed the halfway point between Earth orbit and Mars orbit.

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    Now that's moving.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr
    Now that's moving.
    Blub blub past the hankerchief please

  25. #55
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    New Horizons Payload Gets High Marks on Early Tests

    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.
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  26. #56
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    That is just great..!....



    Titana

  27. #57
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    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.

  28. #58
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    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.

  29. #59
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    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.

  30. #60
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    OK, the new information they posted on the NH website helps tracking a bit. Going by the numbers on the 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.
    Last edited by Lord Jubjub; 2006-Apr-19 at 12:23 AM.

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