Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

What will happen just after New Horizons' launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

09-01-2006 6:54 CST

Topics: New Horizons, mission status

Over the weekend, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern posted a new "P.I. Perspective" on the official website, and it contained some interesting facts about what's planned for the days immediately following New Horizons' launch. They'll have a long journey of 9 years at least to Pluto, but they'll be doing a lot of work to shake down the spacecraft very early after launch, when two-way communication times are very short. Here's Alan's list:

  • Day 1: First contact, command to flight mode, configure thermal control, Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) on, "burp" and prime the propulsion lines.
  • Day 2: Thermal management and guidance system checkouts.
  • Days 3-8: Navigation system and sensor checks, guidance system checks, tracking to refine spacecraft trajectory.
  • Day 9: First trajectory correction.
  • Day 11: Second trajectory correction (if needed).
  • Days 12-19: Additional guidance and navigation system checks, spacecraft trajectory refinement.
  • Day 20: LORRI and PEPSSI instruments, communications and power checks.
  • Day 21: Third trajectory correction (if needed).
 
See other posts from January 2006

 

Or read more blog entries about: New Horizons, mission status

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!