Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 46. Chapters: Galileo, Voyager 1, Pioneer 10, Voyager 2, Pioneer 11, Ulysses, New Horizons, Explorational X-rayMorePlease note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 46. Chapters: Galileo, Voyager 1, Pioneer 10, Voyager 2, Pioneer 11, Ulysses, New Horizons, Explorational X-ray astronomy, Juno, Io Volcano Observer, Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter.
Excerpt: New Horizons is a NASA robotic spacecraft mission currently en route to the dwarf planet Pluto. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra and S/2011 P 1. NASA may also attempt flybys of one or more other Kuiper belt objects. New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/s (58,536 km/h- 36,373 mph) after its last engine shut down.
Thus, the spacecraft left Earth at the greatest ever launch speed for a man-made object. It flew by Jupiter on February 28, 2007, the orbit of Saturn on June 8, 2008- and the orbit of Uranus on March 18, 2011. It is projected to reach Pluto on July 14, 2015, after which it will continue farther into the Kuiper belt. See also: New Horizons -Key mission datesAs of 2 August 2011, the spacecraft was traveling at 15.58 km/s, or about 3.284 AU a year, at a distance of 20.64 AU from the sun, just beyond the orbit of Uranus.
The spacecraft was at a declination of -21.15 degrees, and a right ascension of 18.802 hours at that time. At that distance, light took about 2.69 hours to reach the spacecraft from Earth, meaning that a round trip time for a radio signal was about 5.4 hours.
New Horizons is the first mission in NASAs New Frontiers mission category, larger and more expensive than Discovery missions but smaller than the Flagship Program. The cost of the mission (including spacecraft and instrument development, launch vehicle, mission operations, data analysis, and education/public outreach) is approximately 650 million USD over 15 years (from 2001 to 2016). An earlie...