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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
0 answers
29 views

New Horizons MVIC/Ralph colour channel image alignment

I'm working with some New Horizons MVIC/Ralph data. I'm taking the red, blue, and NIR channel data and create a false colour image, like this: (PDS Label of Red Channel image, accessed from OPUS) ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
447 views

Just how steep are Pluto's tallest ice mountains?

This answer to How tall are Pluto's mountains? Are they the tallest ice features in the Solar System? is worth a read and an upvote and says they are upwards of 3,500 meters and most likely water ice! ...
user avatar
  • 148k
4 votes
0 answers
108 views

New Horizons spinning about "minimum axis of inertia"? Misunderstood or misspoke?

I recently stumbled upon the question Why did New Horizons have to be spin-balanced to grams-level precision? (With quarters!) and the accepted answer written by an authoritative source (the guy who ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
263 views

How (the heck) can thrusters alone stabilize New Horizons well enough to take high magnification 30 second long exposures in order to see +21 m objs?

Wikipedia's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager says that LORRI is a: ...telescope aboard the New Horizons spacecraft for imaging. LORRI has been used to image Jupiter, its moons, Pluto and its moons, ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

What is this block of long, skinny rectangles in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation?

This answer to What do all these vectors point to in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation? begins: The software is definitely AGI's STK (notice the font and the states at the left top ...
user avatar
  • 148k
6 votes
2 answers
343 views

Was there any launch vehicle possible that could have been used for a heavier New Horizons with enough fuel to enter Pluto orbit? (adding ~10 years)

Answers to the Astronomy SE question Can New Horizons probe turn back and start orbiting Pluto are of course no, it would have to have been a different mission with a lot more fuel and a bigger launch ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
0 answers
82 views

How much space could be freed up on New Horizons "once the spacecraft's flyby software is no longer needed"?

A comment below New Horizons current mission links to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory page 2019 Onward which includes the following: It is possible that another flyby target ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
0 answers
40 views

"New Horizons' capabilities augmented by uploading new observing and onboard data-reduction software." How? What augmentations are begin considered?

A comment below New Horizons current mission links to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory page 2019 Onward which includes the following: It is possible that another flyby target ...
user avatar
  • 148k
6 votes
1 answer
143 views

New Horizons current mission

Last week, New Horizons crossed the 50 AU milestone,i.e. approximately 8 billion km (5 billion miles) from Earth. That implies that it must still be in the Kuiper belt, which is 30 AU- 50 AU from the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
144 views

Did New Horizons look for "sailboats" in the Pluto-Charon system's sailboat region? Did it pass through it or avoid it?

In this answer to If we could send an orbiter to the Pluto-Charon system, could we put it in a stable orbit? I wrote: Totally by accident I've just happened to run across the 2014 open access paper A ...
user avatar
  • 148k
4 votes
0 answers
96 views

Is New Horizons' transmission of data from the Arrokoth flyby completed?

I have followed the news on the New Horizons web page for years, searched the web several times, the last time just before asking: There seems to be no information available whether all data from the ...
user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
1 answer
144 views

Could New Horizons' thrusters' ISP be as low as 157 sec?

A discussion below How much of a deep space spacecraft's structural mass is useless dead weight after launch? Any plans to shed it in the future? has lead to https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
104 views

How well could the New Horizons spacecraft localize itself in space in 3D using parallax?

NASA’s New Horizons Conducts the First Interstellar Parallax Experiment was exciting news, the spacecraft's computer, communication and camera all continue to work in the Kuiper belt due to rigorous ...
user avatar
  • 148k
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How come there are so few TNOs the Voyager probes and New Horizons can visit?

The region beyond Neptune is full of dozens, if not hundreds, of dwarf planets and possible dwarf planets. Why can't the interstellar probes visit some of them anyway, along their path? The only TNOs ...
user avatar
  • 353
4 votes
0 answers
195 views

How are B-Plane parameters actually determined for a planetary flyby?

Reading from this document, I am trying to simulate the New Horizons probe trajectory in GMAT and I am puzzled with how the authors of the original paper (by legendary mission designer Robert W. ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any accurate velocity plots of all spacecraft that achieved escape velocity from the solar system? (Pioneers, Voyagers, & New Horizons)

The answer to this question provides a seemingly accurate plot of the velocity of Voyager 2 over distance along with the heliocentric escape velocity. Are there similar graphs for the other 4 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
122 views

Was a "spare LORRI" camera available to take matching image on Earth the same time New Horizons took the parallax image from the Kuiper belt?

It doesn't have to be the source of the "Earth" image used to demonstrate parallax, I only want to know if a spare, prototype, or reference LORRI camera system was potentially available for ...
user avatar
  • 148k
4 votes
2 answers
231 views

Was the gravity assist at Jupiter the most dangerous part of the New Horizons mission?

In terms of success of the mission, was the Jupiter fly-by the time when problems with the flight path was most likely to happen? Was the odds of failure at that point ever studied? If so, what were ...
user avatar
  • 6,747
2 votes
1 answer
191 views

In what conditions are the electronics of New Horizons housed?

In one of answers to the question What are the long term effects of Space Weathering on man-made materials? there is a link to Wikipedia article about Kapton. In this article mentioned that NASA's ...
user avatar
29 votes
4 answers
5k views

Could one of the interstellar probes discover Planet IX by accident?

Could one or some of the spacecraft sent beyond the Kuiper belt discover (or even disprove) the hypothetical Planet IX? That doesn't necessarily mean coming so close you'd recognize the planet in ...
user avatar
  • 487
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Where will the Pioneer, Voyager and New Horizons spacecraft be after one galactic orbit?

After the Pioneer, Voyager and New Horizons spacecraft complete one orbit of the Milky Way (in approx. 230-250 million years or one "galactic year"), how close will they then be to our solar system? (...
user avatar
  • 191
6 votes
0 answers
129 views

Why couldn't New Horizons try again to search for small moons of Pluto?

I was reading Alan Stern and David Grinspoon's Chasing New Horizons, the story of the quarter-century effort to prepare, enable, and run New Horizons' mission to Pluto. As many readers know, it ...
user avatar
  • 7,630
4 votes
1 answer
249 views

Why does New Horizons have ~2 kg of unusable "trapped" hydrazine?

The 2018 arXiv preprint The New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission by the New Horizons team says in section 6, pp. 21-22: Nevertheless, throughout the 2020s, there is significant potential for ...
user avatar
  • 148k
19 votes
1 answer
3k views

Could New Horizons take a "Pale Blue Dot"-like image this year?

Answers to At what exact time was the Pale Blue Dot image taken? say that the famous image was taken by Voyager 1 on 14-Feb-1990 and it took until May of that year for all the data to be sent back to ...
user avatar
  • 148k
3 votes
1 answer
252 views

What's next for New Horizons?

Five years ago What's after Pluto for New Horizons? was asked, and the answer turned out to be at first 'something in the Kuiper belt if we can find a good candidate' and finally 2014 MU69. But now ...
user avatar
  • 148k
0 votes
2 answers
248 views

How does the orbit of the Voyager and New Horizons probes manage to get into interstellar space?

I understand that every probe launched has been launched into an orbit. The further you want to go into the solar system, the faster it needs to be moving. And everything orbits the sun until it finds ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

What do all these vectors point to in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation?

Sir Brian May's New Horizons music video (below) shows an animation of the spacecraft and its launch vehicle from countdown to MU69 Ultima Thule. Part way through the video at about ...
user avatar
  • 148k
3 votes
3 answers
274 views

Could a spacecraft fly in a direct line from the outer solar system to Earth?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory website depicts the New Horizons flight path as almost a straight line after the Jupiter flyby. Could a spacecraft travel from the outer solar ...
user avatar
  • 6,747
12 votes
1 answer
832 views

How tall are Pluto's mountains? Are they the tallest ice features in the Solar System?

See also Just how steep are Pluto's tallest ice mountains? The Gizmodo article It Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean shows a large image of Pluto with obliquely lit peaks near both the ...
user avatar
  • 148k
5 votes
1 answer
355 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 47.3k
4 votes
1 answer
158 views

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 Arrokoth and subtracted their positions. The two new get closer than about 596,000 kilometers. The New Horizons output header says: <...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
158 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 11
27 votes
6 answers
7k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,184
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 411
58 votes
1 answer
8k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 591
2 votes
3 answers
358 views

Did New Horizons use its smaller medium-gain antenna for most/all downlinking of Pluto and Arrokoth flyby data?

Brian May's New Horizons video (below) was released at about the same time that the New Horizons spacecraft passed 2014 MU69 Arrokoth and includes a lot of technically meaningful graphics. One item ...
user avatar
  • 148k
9 votes
2 answers
387 views

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). ...
user avatar
  • 1,951
4 votes
3 answers
224 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 59
1 vote
1 answer
300 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,951
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 59
4 votes
1 answer
331 views

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-...
user avatar
  • 2,923
5 votes
0 answers
172 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,951
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What time will news from New Horizons' Arrokoth (2014 MU69) encounter become available to the public?

This is New Years Day and the big day for New Horizons' encounter with Arrokoth! But it doesn't mean there was nice pictures of MU69 on the big LED displays in Time Square at ...
user avatar
  • 148k
7 votes
1 answer
583 views

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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
48 views

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? ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
165 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 148k
4 votes
1 answer
386 views

Will the upcoming observations of occultation by Arrokoth (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 ...
user avatar
  • 148k
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 233
4 votes
1 answer
579 views

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 "...
user avatar
  • 148k
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

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, ...
user avatar
  • 52.6k