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Emily LakdawallaJanuary 12, 2006

New Horizons progress report

There's a new "Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report" from Kennedy Space Center and it looks like everything is on schedule for a Tuesday launch for New Horizons. In specific, the spacecraft just passed its "Flight Readiness Review," an administrative hurdle where you have to demonstrate that your flight system -- that is, your spacecraft -- really is ready to fly. Apparently New Horizons is ready! The next steps, according to the report, are the following: "Spacecraft closeouts conclude tomorrow; payload test team conducts spacecraft electrical tests Saturday, and the fairing access doors will be closed for flight. Rollout of the Atlas V from the Vertical Integration Facility is scheduled Monday at 10:30 a.m. EST. The storable propellant tank will be loaded onboard the Atlas first stage tank Monday afternoon. On Tuesday at 10:39 a.m., Pad 41 will be cleared for cryogenic fueling operations scheduled to begin at 11:24 a.m. EST." Things are getting exciting...

Read more: New Horizons, mission status

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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