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Chemical propulsion is only used extremely sparingly. Since there is no air resistance in space (or, only negligible resistance due to trace gases and solar winds), the probe continues to move. Absent any gravitational influence, the probe would continue in a straight line, forever. This is what the first three of Newtons laws tell us, especially the first. ...


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Other answers have already mentioned the types of thrust that a space probe can use to increase/decrease velocity, or to adjust course. I'll mention one other source of velocity that allows space probes to travel at huge speeds of tens of thousands of miles per hour - that is the earth itself. The earth travels around the sun at around 67,000 mph. Anything ...


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Like most Probes (all except the ones with electric engines) New Horizons is launched into a trajectory allowing the probe to get to its target nearly unthrusted. Nevertheless smaller corrections of the trajectory are needed. This is not to "re-thurst" the probe, but to assure the correct path of the probe and its attitude. (Important quotes from ...


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