Emily LakdawallaJan 18, 2006

How New Horizons' launch date affects its arrival date

I'm looking forward to the next launch attempt for New Horizons tomorrow. I was looking at that table of launch times from spaceflightnow.com and realized that the table included another valuable column of data that I hadn't noticed before: it tells you what year New Horizons will arrive, for each of the possible launch dates. Here's a summary of that information:

Launch datesArrival year
Jan. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 282015
Jan. 29, 30, 312016
Feb. 1, 22017
Feb. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 82018
Feb. 9, 10, 112019
Feb. 13, 142020


I thought it was interesting to see how the dates grouped with the arrival year. Launch dates prior to February 3 get that Jupiter gravity assist; on or after February 3, it's direct to Pluto.

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