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Questions tagged [new-horizons]

New Horizons is NASA's space probe launched in early 2006 towards the dwarf planet Pluto as the first spacecraft to fly by and study this Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, in July 2015. Spacecraft's operational constraints permitting, it will be redirected to study another KBO, preferably a white body (icy plutoid) with its own moon(s) that's close on the path of New Horizon's current trajectory.

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Is it possible to take another Pale Blue Dot image?

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of ...
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Does JPL's Horizons have better MU69 state vectors for the New Horizons flyby somewhere?

Today I downloaded the state vectors for New Horizons and MU69 Ultima Thule and subtracted their positions. The two new get closer than about 596,000 kilometers. The New Horizions output header says: ...
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LORRI raw images in uncompressed format

I have been solving inverse problems (upsampling) for more than 20 years to improve the resolution of bitmaps image (http://www.resampling.narod.ru). I would like to try my algorithm to improve the ...
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Why no recent information about or photos of Ultima Thule?

It's been two weeks since New Horizons flew past Ultima Thule but the most recent news on the Johns Hopkins site is dated the fourth of January The image gallery has had no new pictures since the ...
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Could outer system probes detect lasers shone at them from earth (orbit)?

Does the Voyager spacecraft have instruments capable of detecting laser light if shone at them? New Horizons certainly does. Any other probes? Is there any laser capable of accuracy and power enough ...
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How was New Horizons able to direct data so precisely back to Earth?

The New Horizons space probe is sending back images of Ultima Thule, 6.4 billion kilometres away. Barring having a very large power to send information back on a very large angle, it seems to me ...
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Did New Horizons use its smaller medium-gain antenna for most/all downlinking of Pluto and Ultima Thule flyby data?

Brian May's New Horizons video (below) was released at about the same time that the New Horizions spacecraft passed 2014 MU69 Ultima Thule and includes a lot of technically meaningful graphics. One ...
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Explanation of weird values in New Horizons data?

In this answer I computed (methods given later in post) the estimated time, distance, range, and resolution for the science capture for New Horizon's closest approach to Ultima Thule (2014 MU69). ...
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How does New Horizons handle unexpected gravitational effects near Ultima Thule?

What are the navigation techniques used to handle the aggregated unknown effect of gravity from local and distant matter for the New Horizons space probe when it intercepted Ultima-Thule ? I am ...
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Where to find raw images of Ultima Thule?

I've found the raw LORRI images taken by New Horizons at Ultima Thule but haven't been able to find raw MVIC images (or data from the other instruments). Does anyone know if these are currently ...
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How can New Horizons reliably approach Ultima Thule over a huge distance? [duplicate]

How did New Horizons navigate to Ultima Thule over 80 million miles from Pluto given the chaotic effect of gravity (from unpredictable local and distant matter) on New Horizons and the fact that the ...
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How to calculate New Horizons' MVIC camera max resolution at Pluto and Ultima Thule?

I am in trouble calculating the ground resolution of MVIC instrument onboard New Horizons; I found several documents about MVIC specs, like this one: http://www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb/ssr/ssr-payload-...
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Having deep space probes use AI to decide where to point their cameras?

With New Horizons on final approach to Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) it has been stated that some or all of the images returned may end up being blank due to the camera being pointed incorrectly because of ...
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What time will news from New Horizons' Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) encounter become available to the public?

This is New Years Day and the big day for New Horizons' encounter with Ultima Thule! But it doesn't mean there was nice pictures of MU69 on the big LED displays in Time Square at ...
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What angular resolution is expected during New Horizon's flyby of Ultima Thule?

Ultima Thule is thought to be about 20 miles (30 km) across. However, I can't seem to find any information about approach distance or typical image resolution of New Horizons in regards to this second ...
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What determined the closest-approach distance between New Horizons and Pluto? [duplicate]

New Horizons passed 7,750 mi (12,472 km) from the surface of Pluto at its closest approach, limiting the image resolution to about 600 feet (183 m). What set the specific closest-approach distance? ...
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Function and nature of the RHC/LCH pair of cables to New Horizons's dish antenna secondary mirror?

Spaceflight 101's New Horizons Spacecraft Overview is full of interesting information and shows this RF Comm System Block Diagram. The thin (red) lines to the dish antenna area are coaxial cables and ...
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Will the upcoming observations of occultation by “Ultima Thule” (2014 MU69) be of a single object, or two?

According to Phys.org's New Horizons team prepares for stellar occultation ahead of Ultima Thule flyby: "Gathering occultation data is an incredibly difficult task," said New Horizons occultation ...
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Why is New Horizons' data transmission speed so slow compared to Voyager?

New Horizons was said to be able to communicate at ~1kbit/s at Pluto and 38kbit/s at Jupiter. Communication with the spacecraft is via X band. The craft had a communication rate of 38 kbit/s at ...
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Have deep-space spacecraft always used some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink?

tl;dr: Question: Have deep-space spacecraft always use some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink? note: I'm looking for some insight into why, and any possible exceptions, not just a "yes" or "...
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How much longer would New Horizons take to reach Pluto without the Jupiter slingshot?

A recent answer by PearsonArtPhoto claims: New Horizons was launched at Solar System Escape Velocity, meaning it could have visited anywhere beyond Earth without stopping. It did visit Jupiter, ...
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What's after the Kuiper Belt for New Horizons?

NASA has approved the New Horizons mission to 2014MU69 on 1 January 2019 that will require operations at least into 2021 to download the data. However, after that, things get a bit fuzzy - New ...
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Timing shadows from the Kuiper belt! Any news? Did it work?

update 24-Jun-2017: SOFIA Arrives in New Zealand to Observe Southern Skies There are plans to fly SOFIA through another predicted occultation path on July 17. SOFIA is a huge (2.5 meter dia.) infrared ...
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How (the heck) can 2014 MU69's orbit be know well enough for a close flyby by New Horizons?

The object 2014 MU69 is much smaller and dimmer than Pluto. Even as New Horizons approaches, it will be much harder for its 8.2 inch aperture, cooled CCD long range imager LORRI to get a fix on it ...
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Why did New Horizons have to be spin-balanced to grams-level precision? (With quarters!)

This story about receiving a roll of Space-Themed Florida State commemorative quarters from the Governor of Florida mentions that the New Horizons spacecraft had to be "spin-balanced" to grams-level ...
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What “high-tech fission-powered mission” almost “killed” New Horizons?

When reading the Discover Magazine article How New Horizons Survived the 40-Year-Glitch and Made it to Pluto while writing this question I saw "...the new NASA administrator tried to kill New Horizons ...
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What caused New Horizon's so-called “40-year glitch”?

The Discover Magazine article How New Horizons Survived the 40-Year-Glitch and Made it to Pluto is a little confusing. It wraps NASA history together with several different space missions to get the "...
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Pioneer spacecraft anomaly [duplicate]

Has the possibility of the "Pioneer Anomaly" as caused by currently inadequate conceptual models of gravity been put to rest by explaining it as caused by on board thermal radiation ? What is the ...
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Did New Horizons also demonstrate the “Pioneer Anomaly”?

In this short but very helpful answer @MikeH provides a link to this short item published in Nature:"...and farewell to the Pioneer Anomaly" which is well worth reading! It references a Physical ...
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How are precision trajectory measurements made of trans-Neptunian spacecraft?

This question asks if Voyager suddenly encountered unexpected gravity from an unseen object, how would it be detected, and there are several answers. For the farthest probes - those now farther from ...
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What is the meaning of: New Horizons' communication rate at 1kbit/s between the probe and Earth?

Is it a real-time communication rate measure? As in it would take one second to receive 1 kbit from Pluto?
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How powerful a telescope would be needed to equal New Horizons'? [closed]

New Horizons has sent back some amazing, unexpected photos of Pluto. I'm sure there are people who would love to build a larger version of Hubble that could continue imaging Pluto at a similar ...
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Why do New Horizons and Dawn have such different imagers/cameras aboard?

I asked this in other boards but no one could give me answers. So, can someone tell me: Why can New Horizons (which is older than Dawn) take photos in a way higher resolution than Dawn can (NH: 70m/...
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Is Hydra of Pluto cut unusually, or just darkened on its surface?

The image of Hydra recently released shows a sharply edged black half oval cutting deep into its bottom as in the image below. Is it dark sky behind an open gap we see, or just unreflective matter on ...
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How close to 2014 MU₆₉ can New Horizons get?

New Horizons is en-route to 2014 MU₆₉, where it is planned to fly by 1 January 2019. Considering fuel and other considerations, how close to 2014 MU₆₉ can it get? (At the time of writing, October ...
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Will New Horizons seek a third target?

New Horizons will fly past the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in January 2019. This will use 56 m/s of the remaining ∆V budget of 130 m/s (1). The encounter will occur near the inner edge of the belt: ...
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Why have there been no new New Horizons images in the last few weeks?

As I write this, the latest image in the NASA's New Horizon's image gallery is this spectacular photo showing Pluto's atmosphere: The full web page for the image is here. That image was posted ...
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Ice Mountains on Pluto

With the recent images from New Horizons, my question is simple. How do we know these mountains are water ice? The linked article doesn't have much detail on how water ice could make 10,000m+ ...
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Did New Horizons capture enough of Pluto's surface to create its global map?

Given the short amount of time that New Horizons focused on Pluto, did it capture enough of its surface to create a global map of it?
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Did the Pluto flyby give New Horizons any significant gravitational boost?

Last week New Horizons passed within 14,000 km of the center of Pluto. I assume this will have put New Horizons within the gravitational influence of Pluto. Pluto's average orbital speed is 4.7 km/s....
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Why is the file transfer speed of New Horizon so slow? [duplicate]

The transmitting speed of the New Horizon probe is $4$ kb/s. Thus, NASA states that it will take around 16 months to download all of the data that the probe gathered in its flyby. Why is this? P.S. ...
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Why didn't New Horizons stay in Pluto's orbit? [duplicate]

As everyone knows, New Horizons, which was sent some decades ago, reached Pluto on July 14th, 2015 and it stayed there for only 24 hours and after that it is going into the Kuiper Belt and thereafter ...
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What drives the choice of onboard memory size for the New Horizons probe?

Why does the New Horizons spacecraft have so little memory (8 Gigabytes for a single buffer)? I'd have donated a few memory sticks if I could.
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Error detection and correction techniques on New Horizons data

As New Horizon's signal is so weak, probability exists of errors in detected signal. What error detection and correction codes are used in the signal? Is it known, what is the error rate in received ...
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Why do the pictures returned from the New Horizons flyby of Pluto lack motion blur?

When using a camera and and not being stable in respect to the target, picture smear occurs. Pluto is 2370 km wide and flyby occurred at speeds ~14 km/s and from distance of ~10,000 km. To put in ...
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Why is part of this New Horizon's Charon high resolution image missing?

The New Horizons team released the following photo of Charon today This choice of image seems rather odd to me for a number of reasons. First of all, according to Emily's schedule, there were 3 ...
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How long did New Horizons take to upload all of its data from the Jupiter encounter?

It's a pretty well known fact among the regulars of this site that New Horizons will take up to 18 months to completely upload the data from the Pluto encounter. When it was at Jupiter, it was much ...
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Why is it hard to take a high quality image of far away objects (like Pluto) using a high-tech space telescope?

Why did NASA send a probe so close to Pluto instead of using a high-tech telescope to capture images of its surface? The Icy Mountains of Pluto. Image credit: New Horizons / Johns Hopkins Applied ...
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Will New Horizons, Voyager or any other space craft survive the death of the sun?

After its mission, New Horizons will be destined to travel perpetually forever. I wonder though how far it will be when the sun explodes. Will it be far enough away that when this happens, billions of ...
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Is New Horizons capable of making natural color photos?

As far as I know, LORRI is panchromatic (black-and-white) and Ralph has red, blue and two infrared filters but no green filter. As such, I wonder whether New Horizons is capable of making natural ...