Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Continuing Our Jovian Journey

Photo illustration of the moon Europa rising over Jupiter's limb, as seen from the LORRI panchromatic imager aboard New Horizons, with color and stars courtesy of space enthusiast Simon Jenks from San Antonio, Texas.
by Alan Stern
Colorado CO (SPX) May 14, 2007
This will be a short update, but I didn't want you to think we've folded our tent at Jupiter yet. The image illustration at right is amazing, isn't it? If you haven't been to Jupiter yourself, I think now you can say you almost have been! New Horizons is now beyond 6 astronomical units from the Sun and about 1 AU from Jupiter, which is, of course, moving too. We continue to transmit data from close-approach observations made in late February and early March. As of late this week, we have 80% of the mother lode from Jupiter here in computers on terra firma.

We also continue to take data as we fly down the Jovian magnetotail. Our Solar Wind at Pluto (SWAP) and Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) teams are discovering structures in the tail they never dreamed of, including some fascinating periodicities and sulfur ions that originated as neutral sulfur back at the volcanic moon Io. You'll hear more about this exciting exploration when those teams figure out what it all means.

Meanwhile, our spacecraft team is conducting a series of tests to ready us for our first stint of hibernation, which begins at the June-July boundary. We must update our autonomy/fault protection software to ready it for hibernating through most of July and August, before we wake up the bird for instrument calibrations. The team is also carrying out various spacecraft propulsion and other subsystem tests and some further instrument calibrations.

And while the spacecraft team is busy with hibernation preps, our science team is closing in on a decision about which day in mid-July 2015 we want to arrive at Pluto. We had planned on July 14, but decided to look at surrounding dates for potential, additional science opportunities at Pluto.

Considerations range from what terrain we see best on Pluto (each day is different as Pluto rotates over 6.4 days), to where Charon is located relative to Pluto, and where Nix and Hydra will be as well. We plan to make a final decision at a full science team meeting on May 30-31. I'll let you know what we decide, but I can tell you that after a close look, July 14 is still an awfully good choice. If we move off July 14, we'll execute a burn this fall to change our speed by 3 to perhaps 30 meters per second (depending on how many days we move the date).

Well, that's all I wanted to tell you about this time. I'll be back with more news soon. In the meantime, keep on exploring, just as we do.

Email This Article

Related Links
The million outer planets of a star called Sol



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Rosetta And New Horizons Watch Jupiter In Joint Campaign
Paris (ESA) Apr 02, 2007
ESA's Rosetta and NASA's New Horizons are working together in their joint campaign to observe Jupiter. A preliminary analysis of the data from Rosetta's Alice ultraviolet spectrometer indicates that the data quality is excellent and that good science is expected to follow.







  • Raytheon To Pursue Avionics Contract For NASA Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle
  • Students Test Space Postal Service During Foton Mission
  • NASA And FAA Team Up To Encourage Aviation And Space Careers
  • NASA Completes Engine Hardware Tests For Ares V

  • Spirit Examined Light - Colored Material Near Home Plate
  • Next Mars Lander Crosses The Mississippi
  • Opportunity Conducts Path Planning Test And Gets Another Energy Boost
  • Mars Rover Spirit Finds Evidence Of Ancient Volcanic Explosion

  • Ariane 5 Achieves Record Performance With Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Ariane 5 Launches Twin GEO Birds
  • Lockheed Martin-Built Astra 1L Satellite Ready For Launch
  • Arianespace And Japan Continue To Build Long-Term Relationship

  • ESA Presents The Sharpest Ever Satellite Map Of Earth
  • Transcontinental Wildfire Emissions Monitored From Space
  • Volcanic Eruptions In Kamchatka
  • NASA Satellite Captures Image Of Georgia Wildfires

  • Continuing Our Jovian Journey
  • Rosetta And New Horizons Watch Jupiter In Joint Campaign
  • New Horizons Shows Off Its Color Camera In Io Image
  • Alice Views Jupiter And Io

  • Missing Mass Found In Recycled Dwarf Galaxies
  • X-Rays Provide A New Way To Investigate Exploding Stars
  • The Brightest Supernova Ever
  • New VERITAS Telescope Array May Help Find Dark Matter

  • US Rejected Russian Request For Joint Moon Program
  • Longest Holiday In Space Ends As Russia Touts Lunar Tour Within Five Years
  • Back To The Moon For Some Reconnaissance
  • Rochester Triumphs In NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

  • Hyper-Accurate Clocks - The Beating Heart Of Galileo
  • EU Sees Public Money Saving Galileo From Drifting Off Course
  • Germany Confident EU Will Take Over Galileo Project
  • GIOVE-A Transmits First Navigation Message

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement