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#76 2006-02-26 17:27:10

Julius Caeser
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From: Malta
Registered: 2004-03-25
Posts: 105

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Scientists believe that the plutonic moons have a single impact origin as is the case of our own moon.The fact that the new moons discovered seem to be in orbital resonances with Charon,as well as the circular orbits  seem to reinforce this theory.Does this mean that we should expect to find a large impact crater on Pluto???

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#77 2006-03-10 01:06:45

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Update from New Horizons website 9 March 2006

With a 76-second burst from its thrusters today, New Horizons cleaned up the last of the small trajectory "dispersions" from launch and set its course toward next February's gravity-assist flyby of Jupiter."

"Course laid in Cap'n"
"Steady as she goes Helm"


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#78 2006-03-21 13:12:47

cIclops
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Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

New update from Alan Stern (20 March 2006) with a description of the new in-flight burn control system.

As you probably already know, our third and last post-launch Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-3), a cleanup tweak of about 2.6 miles per hour, was successfully executed on March 9. TCM-3 featured the first in-flight closed-loop burn control, in which the onboard navigation system senses the acceleration of the vehicle and targets the burn cutoff for a precise change in velocity. This worked entirely as advertised, and it's a capability we plan to use in future burns, rather than just conducting the burn with a timer.
....


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#79 2006-03-23 11:41:56

SpaceNut
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Posts: 29,306

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

While on the very far out journey the time that a very week signal will continue to get harder to recieve but also for the probe to recieve them as well.
JPL Performs First Two-Antenna Uplink Experiment

This was the first time ever, NASA's Deep Space Network has used a pair of smaller antennas to successfully send two simultaneous signals to a spacecraft in deep space that were combined at the spacecraft to yield greater signal power.

This will not only help this probe but will allow for us to be able to stay in contact with voyager and maybe others.

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#80 2006-03-30 05:06:50

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

March 29, 2006 update

In-flight checks of the New Horizons science payload are going well, as six of the seven instruments on board have completed tests proving they survived launch and demonstrated their basic functionality.


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#81 2006-04-05 21:02:28

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 9,774

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Planetary Radio has an online interview with Alan Stern. Bang uptodate report on the probe's current state, also Stern's work on Rosetta and LRO instruments.

great link

While on the very far out journey the time that a very week signal will continue to get harder to recieve but also for the probe to recieve them as well.
JPL Performs First Two-Antenna Uplink Experiment

This was the first time ever, NASA's Deep Space Network has used a pair of smaller antennas to successfully send two simultaneous signals to a spacecraft in deep space that were combined at the spacecraft to yield greater signal power.

This will not only help this probe but will allow for us to be able to stay in contact with voyager and maybe others.

New update from Alan Stern (20 March 2006) with a description of the new in-flight burn control system.

As you probably already know, our third and last post-launch Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-3), a cleanup tweak of about 2.6 miles per hour, was successfully executed on March 9. TCM-3 featured the first in-flight closed-loop burn control, in which the onboard navigation system senses the acceleration of the vehicle and targets the burn cutoff for a precise change in velocity. This worked entirely as advertised, and it's a capability we plan to use in future burns, rather than just conducting the burn with a timer.
....

Thanks for the updates everyone

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#82 2006-04-07 11:53:11

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt


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#83 2006-04-13 12:52:43

Julius Caeser
Member
From: Malta
Registered: 2004-03-25
Posts: 105

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Although not directly related to the New Horizons mission but somewhat relevant,Hubble observations seem to show a smaller size for XENA than prevously thought,but still 30% larger than Pluto.The greater size seems to have resulted from the brighter surface of the 10th planet compared to Pluto which shows up somewhat reddish in Hubble views.The brighter surface of Xena could be attributed to gases which have frozen from the once present atmosphere onto the surface ,since the 10th planet at present lies at its furthest point in its orbit from the Sun.

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#84 2006-04-25 17:34:46

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

What other surprises await New Horizons?

Evidence Mounts For Companion Star To Our Sun

by Staff Writers
Newport Beach CA (SPX) Apr 25, 2006
The Binary Research Institute (BRI) has found that orbital characteristics of the recently discovered planetoid, "Sedna", demonstrate the possibility that our sun might be part of a binary star system. A binary star system consists of two stars gravitationally bound orbiting a common center of mass.

Once thought to be highly unusual, such systems are now considered to be common in the Milky Way galaxy.

Walter Cruttenden at BRI, Professor Richard Muller at UC Berkeley, Dr. Daniel Whitmire of the University of Louisiana, amongst several others, have long speculated on the possibility that our sun might have an as yet undiscovered companion. Most of the evidence has been statistical rather than physical.

The recent discovery of Sedna, a small planet like object first detected by Cal Tech astronomer Dr. Michael Brown, provides what could be indirect physical evidence of a solar companion. Matching the recent findings by Dr. Brown, showing that Sedna moves in a highly unusual elliptical orbit, Cruttenden has determined that Sedna moves in resonance with previously published orbital data for a hypothetical companion star.

In the May 2006 issue of Discover, Dr. Brown stated: "Sedna shouldn't be there. There's no way to put Sedna where it is. It never comes close enough to be affected by the sun, but it never goes far enough away from the sun to be affected by other stars... Sedna is stuck, frozen in place; there's no way to move it, basically there's no way to put it there – unless it formed there. But it's in a very elliptical orbit like that. It simply can't be there. There's no possible way - except it is. So how, then?"

"I'm thinking it was placed there in the earliest history of the solar system. I'm thinking it could have gotten there if there used to be stars a lot closer than they are now and those stars affected Sedna on the outer part of its orbit and then later on moved away. So I call Sedna a fossil record of the earliest solar system. Eventually, when other fossil records are found, Sedna will help tell us how the sun formed and the number of stars that were close to the sun when it formed."

Walter Cruttenden agrees that Sedna's highly elliptical orbit is very unusual, but noted that the orbit period of 12,000 years is in neat resonance with the expected orbit periodicity of a companion star as outlined in several prior papers. Consequently, Cruttenden believes that Sedna's unusual orbit is something indicative of the current solar system configuration, not merely a historical record.

"It is hard to imagine that Sedna would retain its highly elliptical orbit pattern since the beginning of the solar system billions of years ago. Because eccentricity would likely fade with time, it is logical to assume Sedna is telling us something about current, albeit unexpected solar system forces, most probably a companion star".

Outside of a few popular articles, and Cruttenden's book "Lost Star of Myth and Time", which outlines historical references and the modern search for the elusive companion, the possibility of a binary partner star to our sun has been left to the halls of academia. But with Dr. Brown's recent discoveries of Sedna and Xena, (now confirmed to be larger than Pluto), and timing observations like Cruttenden's, the search for a companion star may be gaining momentum.

I find it hard to believe that we can see brown dwarfs around other stars, but not around our own. On the other hand, maybe the glare from the sun has something to do with it.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#85 2006-04-27 20:15:21

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,306

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Same thoughts are also being used for explaining the axis rotation of the gas giants.
Early gravitational pull set planets' tilt

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#86 2006-05-02 12:53:16

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

New update from Alan Stern (May 2006)

it's worth noting that we have just realized that New Horizons itself will be traversing through one of the Trojan regions of Neptune in 2014.

and

Our APL-based telecommunication team, led by Chris DeBoy, has worked out a way to use our redundant (opposite polarization) transmitters simultaneously to double our data rates.


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#87 2006-05-02 13:08:59

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

it's worth noting that we have just realized that New Horizons itself will be traversing through one of the Trojan regions of Neptune in 2014.

Cool.

I wonder what they have planned for the Jupiter flyby.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#88 2006-05-02 20:50:01

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,306

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

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#89 2006-05-03 18:35:46

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

On second thought, can they take evasive action? I'd hate to get all the way to Neptune only to hit one of those uncharted Trojans.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#90 2006-06-05 03:58:57

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

New PI June 1st 2006 update

... in early May we also discovered that we'd pass within approximately 104,000 kilometers of the little-known asteroid 2002 JF56 on June 13! This little mountain-sized body (http://smass.mit.edu/2002jf56.html) is only 3 to 5 kilometers across; virtually nothing is known about it - not even its compositional type or its rotational period.

Although we cannot resolve something as small as 2002 JF56 from this distance with Ralph (LORRI, which has higher resolution cannot open its door until late August to guard against accidental Sun pointings), the June 13 "encounter" with 2002 JF56 is still going to be useful to New Horizons.


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#91 2006-06-15 22:33:30

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

061505_01_md.jpg

Successful tracking and imaging of asteroid 2002 JF56 reported 15 June, good practice for the traverse of one of   Neptune's Trojan regions.

In photos snapped by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) component of New Horizons' Ralph imager, from distances ranging from 1.34 to 3.36 million kilometers (about 833,000 to 2.1 million miles), the asteroid (with an estimated diameter of about 2.5 kilometers) appears as a bright, barely resolved pinpoint of light against the background of space.


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#92 2006-07-11 21:20:50

DannyITR
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From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-08
Posts: 41
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Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

I'm also confused at how there could be a companion star.  The articles seem to accept that its plausible that a sun be on the edge of our solar system and not be visible but don't offer any sort of explanation or thoeries.


Danny------> MontrealRacing.com

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#93 2006-07-14 17:08:36

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

I'm also confused at how there could be a companion star.  The articles seem to accept that its plausible that a sun be on the edge of our solar system and not be visible but don't offer any sort of explanation or thoeries.

I agree there.  Even if it were a cool brown dwarf (which would be dim if it were the same 5-billion years aged like the sun) it would surely have been detected some time ago.  There's evidence the Kuiper Belt as a whole was sheered by a passing star...in such an event any small companion to our sun might have also been cast into space.

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#94 2006-08-31 12:31:37

cIclops
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Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

New Horizon's science team member John Spencer has released an observation plan for the Jupiter encounter 27 Feb 2007:

# Time-resolved near-IR image cubes of the Great Red Spot and its surroundings, and high-resolution CCD imaging of the "Little Red Spot"
# Time series EUV/FUV observations of the Jovian aurorae, Io torus, and solar wind during Jupiter approach
# High spatial resolution UV and near-IR imaging of the Jovian aurorae and airglow
# UV stellar occultations observations of the atmospheres of Jupiter and all the Galilean satellites
# Global imaging of Io's plumes and post-Galileo surface changes
# Global imaging of high-temperature (0.4 - 2.5 micron) volcanic thermal emission from Io
# Observations of UV, and (in eclipse) visible and near-IR, atmospheric emissions from Io, Europa, and Ganymede
# Near terminator imaging of large-scale topographic features on Europa
# 1.25 - 2.5 micron spectroscopy of Galilean satellite surface composition, and similar spatial resolution and better spectral resolution than Galileo NIMS global observations
# Extensive imaging of Jupiter's rings to search for embedded satellites and improve knowledge of the ring structure
# Distant imaging of Himalia and Elara to determine shapes, sizes, and phase curves.
# Possible detection and characterization of Jovian dust streams
# Plasma observations of the magnetosphere, including an unprecedented 3-month flight down the magnetotail.


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#95 2006-09-06 20:16:14

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
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Posts: 1,021

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

New Horizon's science team member John Spencer has released an observation plan for the Jupiter encounter 27 Feb 2007:

# Time-resolved near-IR image cubes of the Great Red Spot and its surroundings, and high-resolution CCD imaging of the "Little Red Spot"
# Time series EUV/FUV observations of the Jovian aurorae, Io torus, and solar wind during Jupiter approach
# High spatial resolution UV and near-IR imaging of the Jovian aurorae and airglow
# UV stellar occultations observations of the atmospheres of Jupiter and all the Galilean satellites
# Global imaging of Io's plumes and post-Galileo surface changes
# Global imaging of high-temperature (0.4 - 2.5 micron) volcanic thermal emission from Io
# Observations of UV, and (in eclipse) visible and near-IR, atmospheric emissions from Io, Europa, and Ganymede
# Near terminator imaging of large-scale topographic features on Europa
# 1.25 - 2.5 micron spectroscopy of Galilean satellite surface composition, and similar spatial resolution and better spectral resolution than Galileo NIMS global observations
# Extensive imaging of Jupiter's rings to search for embedded satellites and improve knowledge of the ring structure
# Distant imaging of Himalia and Elara to determine shapes, sizes, and phase curves.
# Possible detection and characterization of Jovian dust streams
# Plasma observations of the magnetosphere, including an unprecedented 3-month flight down the magnetotail.

Thats impressive. Almost a mission in itself.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#96 2006-09-06 20:36:15

RedStreak
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Posts: 541

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Extremely impressive.  This is no longer merely just a pit-stop...this IS a mission objective now.

Considering the nearly decade-long span between Jupiter and Pluto and the probe's power supply at its peak versus it being at 90-75% capacity when the KBO segment of the mission begins, this is simply New Horizons at it's best with the best technology of planet Earth backing it up full.

Not that investigating the Galilean satellites are moot, but what I think is an astounding first are dedicated efforts to image Red Spot Jr. and investigating two of Jupiter's enigmatic irregular satellites.  The only probe I can think of that's resolved an irregular effectively would have been Cassini with Phoebe just prior to it's OIM.  Obviously this won't be a close fly-by but I'm willing to bet LORRI, Ralph, and Alice will reveal more to the nature of these unknown satellites that only Phoebe's closer inspection would exceed.  And Red Spot Jr. is especially astounding since it may be linked to a planetary climate change on a gas giant - THAT is a first equal to the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact; how much do we know about the cycles of gaeous planets?

I am definetely eager for another visit to Jupiter!  8)

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#97 2006-09-06 20:40:48

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Why is Charon so... turquoise?

I still think it criminal that were sending something all the way to Pluto for the first time, only to fly right on by.

This only reenforces that.

Well it will be the 1st time a spacecraft goes to Pluto so expecting a perfect orbit insertion on such a small object might be too much and this mission might do better by exploring the outer solar system after studying Pluto


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#98 2006-09-06 21:46:21

Commodore
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From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

Why is Charon so... turquoise?

I still think it criminal that were sending something all the way to Pluto for the first time, only to fly right on by.

This only reenforces that.

Well it will be the 1st time a spacecraft goes to Pluto so expecting a perfect orbit insertion on such a small object might be too much and this mission might do better by exploring the outer solar system after studying Pluto

True. We've never done an orbital insertion on a binary planet before.

I'll feel better once a post-Pluto target is picked. They haven't said much about it yet cause its still at least a decade away.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#99 2006-09-06 22:01:44

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

090606_01.jpg
Stern makes his position clear on the status of Pluto in the September 6, 2006 PI perspectives report:

The New Horizons project, like a growing number of the public, and many hundreds if now thousands of professional research astronomers and planetary scientists, will not recognize the IAU's planet definition resolution of Aug. 24, 2006.


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#100 2006-11-02 03:18:59

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Horizons - mission to Pluto and the Kupier belt

November 1, 2006 Update from Alan Stern

As we continue to fly outward from the Sun at 78,700 kilometers (48,600 miles) an hour, our communications time, or RTLT (round trip light time), is increasing rapidly. In fact, it's now approaching an hour and a half round trip, at the speed of light!

Schedule problems force Stern to reduce Jupiter encounter observations:

With more than 165 observations on the Jupiter encounter wish list and a record-setting fast trajectory to Jupiter, we recently found ourselves on too tight of a schedule to get everything planned, built, tested, and ready for uplink to New Horizons.

So last week, as mission PI, I opted for us to go light on distant observations beginning in January and early February. This meant cutting out almost 2/3 of the originally hoped for observations in January.


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