AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:49 pm

Well, I didn't see a thread about New Horizons in this forum, despite doing a search, so I'll start one.

Who else is looking forward to the launch of the first space probe to Pluto, Charon, and the Kuiper Belt?

I am!   

Here's a great starting point if you're interested in the forthcoming mission -- due to launch today!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newho ... index.html
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corey07850
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:38 am

I've been watching the coverage on the local news channels as well as the NASA channel... Looks like they had some sort of drain problem but that's fixed--just wating for the winds...

I think the time is pushed to 1910Z (2:10 eastern)
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:20 am

They're on a planned hold right now, and it looks hopeful that they can launch at around 2:30 p.m., Eastern.  

UPDATE: The were having DSN (Deep Space Network) issues, so now that they've been resolved, the new launch time is 2:50 p.m.

Woohoo!   

[Edited 2006-01-17 20:30:41]
What's fair is fair.
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:50 am

Still on hold, new time is 3:05pm Eastern.

DC-10
 
whitehatter
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:54 am

And off we go.

What is eventually needed is a supercold, superquiet observatory on Pluto. That is an ideal location to do astronomy and look into the galaxy much more deeply than we can in the noisy inner solar system. Radio astronomy from an array on Pluto could be much more detailed and precise.

New Horizons is a start, looking at Pluto close up and assessing if future missions could place science stations on the surface for remote work.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:03 am

New launch time set to 3:23pm Eastern, I think I heard them say it's the last time in this lauch window. If they don't go at 3:23 they're staying until tomorrow when the new launch window begins.

DC-10
 
AsstChiefMark
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:23 am

Scrub until tomorrow.
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AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 6):
Scrub until tomorrow.

Yes, sadly enough.

But, at least there's something to look forward to, tomorrow.  Smile
What's fair is fair.
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:52 am

Anyone know the new launch window for tomorrow?

DC-10


EDIT: Found it. (NASA will try again tomorrow, Jan. 18, during a launch window extending from 1:16 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. EST).

[Edited 2006-01-17 21:53:35]
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:01 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 4):
What is eventually needed is a supercold, superquiet observatory on Pluto. That is an ideal location to do astronomy and look into the galaxy much more deeply than we can in the noisy inner solar system. Radio astronomy from an array on Pluto could be much more detailed and precise.

Nah, I don't think that is very practical, or even ever considered. The back side of the moon is far better.

Pluto has an atmosphere, the moon has not. We don't know much about Pluto's atmosphere, but whatever its composition, it is there and will hamper the science results.

If distance from the sun is a subject (which it hardly is) then it can be done from spacecrafts flown far away from the sun. There is no need for solid ground underneath.

Furthermore, it takes a terrible amount of energy to fly to Pluto with a tiny payload in "only" ten years. In addition to that to carry fuel to brake down speed again for a soft landing, that is almost impossible to think about.

But for many decades - long time before the first Sputnik - radio astronomers have dreamed about a radio observatory on the back side of the moom. At full moon the moon itself will shade for all emissions from both the sun and the earth. That would be great.

BTW, is there any indication about the reason for the New Horizons scrub? Weather? Tech?
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 9):
BTW, is there any indication about the reason for the New Horizons scrub? Weather? Tech?

It's the old bugaboo -- weather. High winds, to be exact. I kinda thought in the back of my mind they would scrub it. Call it a feeling. Same thing (i.e., scrubbed first day) happened with the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), and I was up all night anticipating its launch. I even have it recorded.   And then it was scrubbed on its first attempt, and maybe even the second (I've forgotten). But then, man, was it worth it! I watched it live.

MRO is doing very well on its way to Mars. All its instruments check out fine, and it's destined to meet the Red Planet in a couple of months. It's so massive and technologically advanced, it will almost be like having an automated space station in Martian orbit.

Mars Express, the ESA mission, is doing well, too. Not to mention NASA's MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers). There are other active satellites around Mars, in addition.

Thank goodness for NASA TV. It's a Godsend for space nuts like me. Now I don't have to wait all day just hoping to watching a 45-second video clip on the evening news.  

They say there is a 40% chance of thunderstorms or high winds tomorrow during the second launch window. Tomorrow might be scrubbed, too.   

Oh well. We'll see. Here's hoping for the best!

[Edited 2006-01-17 23:35:57]
What's fair is fair.
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:51 am

Yeah, AerospaceFan, it would have been nice to have New Horizons on its way by now. But the real interesting moment, that will be in 2015 when it arrives.

A slight delay today, that's something we can manage without getting a heart attack. This visit to Pluto will of course be the first one ever. But it may also be the last one to arrive on this side of 2030. So dear NASA, better play it safe!

And about all your Mars info, I am as excited as you are about all the terrific things which are going on right now. I am swallowing every word about space exploration in the "Sky & Telescope" magazine month by month.

The moon landings 35 years ago were of course extremely exciting. But what NASA and ESA (and also the Japanese) are doing these days, that is really breathtaking, and I cannot understand people who insist that space science was more exciting decades ago.

So many fantastic things are going on right now, Mars, Venus, soon Mercury again, Jupiter is almost over, especially Saturn, now Pluto, asteroid landing, comet sample return, and of course the large space observatories, Hubble, Candra etc.

It is of course depressing that the Shuttle is now grounded for the third time and that further flights may be only ISS cargo flights, and only when an "improved 60'es era Russian life boat" is available. Especially since just one more successful Hubble upgrade visit would have fantastic consequences for science.

To me it seems like the most exciting period of space exploration is passing more or less unnoticed by the public. It's a shame. I think that I know what I am talking about since I am old enough to remember the launch of Sputnik I. Even old enough to have "studied" the Vanguard project long time before its many failures, long time before Sputnik I.

In the old days when an astronaut was sitting all day long on top of a Redstone launcher making water in hit pants while waiting for the countdown to be resumed for the umpteenth time - for a splash down "somewhere" in the Atlantic 15 minutes later, then all Denmark was glued to TV and radio and all ordinary broadcast was suspended. Roads were empty. And it continued all the rest of the evening while half of the US Navy was searching for him and his tin capsule. Today when New Horizons was scheduled to be launched for the exploration of Pluto, it was not even mentioned in any local news media.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:23 am

Such great comments! Thank you.  

Your message brings back wonderful memories. When man landed on the Moon, I thought that we, as a species, were going to make a quantum leap forward, away from Earth, and into the vastness of space. Unfortunately, Apollo ended all too soon.

But I have never been disappointed with the unmanned space program, whether it was the Surveyors, the Pioneers, the Vikings, the Voyagers, or any other manner of other spacecraft.

I remember how much excitement there was when the Vikings landed on Mars.

And now, we have almost an embarassment of riches, with about three dozen U.S. space probes or space observatories in continuous operation, and the public seems to have gotten blase' about the whole thing. Three dozen, and that's just counting American spacecraft. I agree with you: I can't believe the public isn't more excited! There should be news specials on all the networks every time a probe like Stardust brings home the bacon, so to speak. But instead, the entertainment networks, and even the news nets, seem preoccupied with Desperate Housewives or the Golden Globes.

Whatever happened to our sense of wonder? Are we truly so jaded as a people that the fantastic fulfillment of our futuristic dreams can fall so facilely beneath our notice?

And in the years beyond, there is, following the ISS and the Shuttle, the promise of a series of manned expeditions back to the Moon, and then ones to Mars.

Can the future get more exciting that this? I don't think so!

A decade passes quickly when there is so much to do, and before you know it, we will have beautiful pictures and invaluable data from the last known planet in our Solar System, together with vistas comprising its three known moons, and then, beyond that, we will see the Kuiper Belt in all its glory. We might even discover that there are dozens of other Pluto-sized objects; we've already found Sedna and another trans-Kuiper planetoid, said to be larger than Pluto, as I recall.

How can we fail to appreciate this bounty of knowledge, this boundless feast of intellectual fulfillment and destiny?

If mankind is to be judged by its highest endeavors, then our efforts to understand the universe must sure rank among the best evidence in its defense. Let us hope that, in this regard, the defense never rests!

[Edited 2006-01-18 03:32:31]
What's fair is fair.
 
Citation X
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:40 pm

This may sound like a silly question, but I wonder how space probes photos like those of Voyagers I and II and Cassini and Galileo look so bright considering that the planets they visit are so far away from the sun therefore they don't get much sunlight to light up the planets and the moons..

Now with Pluto, it is even further away. Anyone can shed some light here? Thanks.
 
Pyrex
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:27 pm

When are they going to probe Uranus?

I am sorry for ruining such a good thread but someone had to say this.

When does this year's launch window end?
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:02 pm

Regarding manned space shuttle flights - NASA website says N.E.T May 2006 so that's not too long to wait.

DC-10
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:36 am

Cancelled again today. At least 24hrs until they try again - heard something about loss of power. Ah well, at least we've got something to look forward to tomorrow  Smile.

DC-10
 
cloudy
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:51 am

Quoting Citation X (Reply 13):
This may sound like a silly question, but I wonder how space probes photos like those of Voyagers I and II and Cassini and Galileo look so bright considering that the planets they visit are so far away from the sun therefore they don't get much sunlight to light up the planets and the moons..

Now with Pluto, it is even further away. Anyone can shed some light here? Thanks.

Heavenly bodies tend to be brighter than one would expect. One example - The moon has the lowest albedo(reflectivity) in the solar system. This means if all the objects of the solar system were the same size and distance from the sun the moon would be the dimmest. However, notice how bright the full moon appears to us. You can see it even during the day. Put a highly reflective object like Europa in the same place as the moon and my guess is it would hurt your eyes just to look at it. The ices that make up most outer solar system moons, comets, etc. reflects very well. There is a reason walking around at noon in an open field covered with snow and/or ice can temporarily blind you, if you are not careful.

Some objects are indeed too far out to reflect enough sunlight to be easily seen from earth. There may be undiscovered Earth or even Jupiter sized planets in our own solar system - if there was such a beast ten times as far out as Pluto is, it would not reflect enough light to be seen.

More importantly, spacecraft can use high speed detectors(or in the Voyagers, film) that are much more sensitive than the human eye. Also, they can do timed exposures. This requires very good control but it can be done. Pick out the better ones, touch them up a bit, and it looks great. Doesn't neccesarily mean its the same thing you would see if you were there looking out the spacecraft's window, but spectacular and accurate even so.

Nevertheless, less sunlight does mean that less data and fewer pictures can be collected than if the target object was closer to the sun. But this is not the main reason missions to the outer solar system tend to be more expensive. The reasons for this are: the need for RTG's instead of solar cells, higher boost energy required, longer mission time, etc. Notice also that this is a flyby mission and not an orbital mission. It would be cost-prohibitive to launch enough propellant to both get enough speed to get out there and also slow down to enter orbit. This limits the science that can be done - but the mission will still accomplish more than enough to make it worthwhile.
 
Thorny
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:05 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 14):

When does this year's launch window end?

February 14.
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:47 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 14):
When are they going to probe Uranus?

1986.

That was the year when Voyager II passed by and took fantastic pictures of Uranus and its moons. Plus of course collected a wealth of other science data. En route to Neptun which was passed in 1989.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:19 am

Quoting Citation X (Reply 13):
I wonder how space probes photos like those of Voyagers I and II and Cassini and Galileo look so bright considering that the planets they visit are so far away from the sun therefore they don't get much sunlight to light up the planets and the moons..

They simply build and adjust the onboard cameras to work with the very low light level. It ain't easy, or at least it wasn't easy in the pioneer days of space travel 20-30 years ago.

At Pluto the light level from the sun is roughly one thousandth of what we experience on earth. Light intensity varies with the square of the distance. Twice as far away, and light is one fourth etc.

But today we (mostly the military) have night vision goggles which work on much lower light levels.

Anyway the beautiful pictures we see from far away are often extensively treated by Photoshop work or such. Most often they are composite pictures taken in black and white only. But by taking the same picture three times through three differently colored pictures, then computers can easily from the differences of the three pictures calculate the correct color of each individual pixcell.

Same problem arises when going nearer the sun, just opposite. At Mercury for instance the light intensity is roughly ten times that on earth.

In addition to visible light pictures are also taken in near infrared and UV light.

BTW, Pluto has a highly excentric orbit around the sun. In just over a hundred years it will reach its furthest distance from the sun almost a billion miles further away than today. The light level will have been cut almost in half compared to today.

Heating from the sun will also be cut to half of present day, and some scientists predict that at that time its atmosphere will freeze away.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Bobster2
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:31 am

The arrival date at Pluto depends on the launch date, fom July 2015 to July 2020. Feb 2 is the last launch date for the Jupiter gravity assist, after that they have to go direct to Pluto.

Launch Date (2006) = Pluto Arrival (close approach)
Jan. 17-27 = July 14, 2015
Jan. 28 = August 15, 2015
Jan. 29-31 = July 12, 2016
Feb. 1-2 = July 11, 2017
Feb. 3-8 = July 10, 2018
Feb. 9-12 = June 7, 2019
Feb. 13-14 = July 20, 2020
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:24 pm

Reading this thread has been most informative.   I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to answer the question, posted above, about low light levels at the distances of the outer planets, but in retrospect, the answer that actually was provided, by another member, is far better than what I could have offered.

I am very hopeful that tomorrow will be a "go" for launch and that we will see the beginnings of a wonderful journey to the edges of our Solar System.

[Edited 2006-01-19 06:25:12]
What's fair is fair.
 
Citation X
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:32 pm

Cloudy, Prebennorholm,

Thank you for the answers. Much appreciated. Just that I see those pictures from Voyagers and the other deep-space probes, they look so bright.

I wish the New Horizons team success for this exciting mission.
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:59 am

All is going well today at T-2 hours and holding.

NASA-TV is currently interrupting its coverage of New Horizons to bring us a briefing on the spectacularly successful return of cometary and interstellar samples by Stardust.  Smile
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AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:00 am

Officials in the Control Room are all smiles.  Big grin

T-4 minutes and counting!

T-2 minutes and counting!

T-1 minute and counting!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

And we have LIFT-OFF!

 cloudnine 
What's fair is fair.
 
dc-10 levo
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:59 am

Completely forgot about it - no news coverage whatsoever!

DC-10
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:13 am

Yes, I am very disappointed with the news coverage. Thirty-four minutes into the flight, and neither of the so-called "newsradio" stations in Los Angeles seemed to know about it.

This is a decade-long event -- as well as once in a lifetime. The news media was busy covering Angelina Jolie and her court order to change her children's last name. Literally! They did lead with Bin Laden, but that doesn't justify totally forgetting about New Horizons!

Wake up, news people! There are more important things in life than Hollywood!

Thank goodness CBS News finally ran a story about New Horizons at the top of the hour on KNX-AM. (It was second after the Bin Laden story.)

[Edited 2006-01-19 23:14:21]
What's fair is fair.
 
TheSonntag
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:06 am

News coverage was OK in Germany... Nothing special, but the launch was showed... Better than nothing.

I have one question: Several sources state that this is the fastest probe which has been launched so far. But Wikipedia.de states something that Voyager 1 and 2 have a speed of something around 17km/s. Isn't new horizons scheduled for "only" 14 km/s?

Can anybody enlighten me about that?
 
whitehatter
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 9):
Nah, I don't think that is very practical, or even ever considered. The back side of the moon is far better.

I disagree.

The inner system is relatively noisy due to proximity to the sun. Pluto is ideal as it's about as far away as you can get with a stable location within the solar system, and the emissions from the central star are at their most diluted. If you are doing sensitive work such as searching for extrasolar objects then you need somewhere quiet and dark, and Pluto is the right place to do it (or on one of its moons like Charon).
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DfwRevolution
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 28):
I have one question: Several sources state that this is the fastest probe which has been launched so far.

Very interesting question, I thought the answer was straight forward and then I had to spend half an hour nailing down the exact figure!

1. What I've read says NH is the fastest proble launched at 36,000 mph (16 km/s). It will cross the orbital plane of the Moon in just nine hours, faster than any other probe. In fact, that's only about four hours from the time I post!

2. NH current velocity (at launch) is slower than Voyager 1's current velocity (in cruise), but Voyager 1 was launched slower. Both Voyager probes carried a solid-rocket booster fired in mid-flight to allow a gravity-assist manuever around Jupiter. The velocity gained in the engine burn and assist gave Voyager 1 a final velocity of 39,000 mph (about 17 km/s). Launch velocity was only

3. When NH completes its gravity-assist around Jupiter in 2007, it will accelerate to an astonishing 45,000 mph (20 km/s). This will make NH the fastest moving man-made probe, period.

So to recap:

- Current velocity record is still Voyager 1
- Current velocity record at launch is now NH
- Velocity record after 2007 Jupiter assist will be NH by a wide margin
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
DfwRevolution
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:26 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 29):
Pluto is ideal as it's about as far away as you can get with a stable location within the solar system, and the emissions from the central star are at their most diluted

Actually, if you send a probe to about 500-600 AU, you can use the Sun as a gravity lense. Data from a point that distant from our perspective would greatly boost the resolution of our astronomical charts.

From a logistic standpoint, the far-side of the moon (which obviously isn't the "dark side") is the best location for a large radiotelescope in the near-term. It would still offer a quantum leap in resolution to astronomers relative to Earth-based telescopes.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:16 pm

I'm watching a replay of the January 19, 2006 NASA press conference on New Horizons, and everything was nominal with the spacecraft.  

The spacecraft is on a "very nominal" trajectory. It's headed in the right direction, at the right speed. It has 180 watts of power, building up to over 200 watts, as planned. It's got "plenty of power".

There wasn't a single fault detected upon launch by the on-board fault protection system.

All systems are "go" as of the press conference.

Truly great, great news!

Also, some of Clyde Tombaugh's ashes are on New Horizons. Dr. Tombaugh, as everyone here indubitably knows, was the discoverer of the planet Pluto. And his widow and some of his descendants were at the launch. What an honor! What a tribute!

[Edited 2006-01-20 10:27:44]
What's fair is fair.
 
GDB
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:43 am

Well done NASA, here's to July 2015.
A quick bit on the launch;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/sci/tech/4629486.stm

This lady has a special claim to fame about Pluto;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/sci/tech/4596246.stm
 
Pyrex
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 32):
It has 180 watts of power, building up to over 200 watts, as planned. It's got "plenty of power".

What do they use for power onboard the spacecraft? A nuclear reactor, like in the Voyager / Pioneer (I don't recall which one)? You would probably need huge solar arrays that far from the Sun.
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AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:59 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 34):
What do they use for power onboard the spacecraft? A nuclear reactor, like in the Voyager / Pioneer (I don't recall which one)?

The spacecraft uses radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) technology. This is the same type of device that has powered a number of previous interplanetary missions. More information on this device may be found at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

Hope this helps.  Smile
What's fair is fair.
 
atmx2000
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:06 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 34):
What do they use for power onboard the spacecraft? A nuclear reactor, like in the Voyager / Pioneer (I don't recall which one)? You would probably need huge solar arrays that far from the Sun.

Plutonium for Pluto!

Radioistope thermoelectric generator using plutonium more specifically.

Pluto is rather cold for a reason, so solar arrays are out of the question.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
Areopagus
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:23 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 30):
3. When NH completes its gravity-assist around Jupiter in 2007, it will accelerate to an astonishing 45,000 mph (20 km/s). This will make NH the fastest moving man-made probe, period.

The Galileo atmospheric probe entered Jupiter's atmosphere at a speed of over 106,000 mph. Galileo itself probably went in at nearly that speed.
 
TheSonntag
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 30):

Thank you for doing so much research... Somehow I feel sorry for Voyager 1, 2, Pioneer 10 and New Horizon... They are technological masterpieces but will never come back, yet they still work or worked until some years ago...

Somehow I think Voyager 1 and 2 deserve to be put into a museum, but retrieving will be a little bit difficult  Smile
 
AerospaceFan
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:02 am

I think of our stellar-bound space probes as representing all of humankind, not just the United States. They belong to the museum of the universe as a symbol of Earth.  

I think that one of the Pioneers had a plate that contained all kinds of symbols designed to be easily interpreted, and in addition, a representation of a man and a woman, together with a phonograph record containing the voices of children of the world saying "hello" in all the different languages of Earth.

I get sentimental thinking about these things, that our spacecraft of exploration will be our ambassadors long after all of us are gone.

May they all fly on safely to their destiny!

[Edited 2006-01-20 23:04:48]
What's fair is fair.
 
Bobster2
Posts: 1523
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:04 am

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 36):
Plutonium for Pluto!

I have too much time on my hands, so I tried to come up with a complete list Big grin :

Neptunium for Neptune.
Uranium for Uranus
Titanium for Titania
Titanium for Titan
Mercury for Mercury
Europium for Europa
Ionium for Io
Promethium for Promethius

Any others?
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 40):
Mercury for Mercury

Don't you mean "mercurium"?

 Big grin
What's fair is fair.
 
Thorny
Posts: 1508
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:44 am

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 30):
Both Voyager probes carried a solid-rocket booster fired in mid-flight to allow a gravity-assist manuever around Jupiter.

Not mid-flight. The solid third stage fired after release from the Centaur, the same as on New Horizons.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 30):
- Current velocity record is still Voyager 1

I think it has been exceeded by both Ulysses (Jupiter slingshot) and the Galileo Atmosphere Probe (Jupiter atmosphere entry). It's possible Galileo's suicide dive also exceeded Voyager's velocity, but it is hard to find data on that.

I have found several references to Ulysses becoming mankind's fastest object in 1991, but those were pre-Galileo. The Galileo probe's entry speed was utterly enormous (>100,000 mph) and dwarfs everything else (maybe NASA is forgetting to qualify its New Horizon's speed record with "...and survived.")

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 34):
A nuclear reactor, like in the Voyager / Pioneer (I don't recall which one)?

No, the United States has never launched a nuclear reactor into space. NASA uses RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) which are passive devices that generate electricty through a thermocoupler that gets heat from the natural decay of plutonium. Nuclear fission is not involved.

RTGs have been used since the 1960s, flying on such missions as Apollos 13-17 (to power lunar surface experiments), Pioneers 10 and 11, Viking Landers 1 and 2, Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and now New Horizons. RTGs have cousins called Radioisotope Heating Units (RHUs) which are much smaller and are used only to generate heat, not electricity. Both Mars Rovers currently have RHUs onboard to help systems survive the Martian night and winters. For some reason, RHUs don't seem to generate protesters at launch!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 39):
I think that one of the Pioneers had a plate that contained all kinds of symbols designed to be easily interpreted, and in addition, a representation of a man and a woman, together with a phonograph record containing the voices of children of the world saying "hello" in all the different languages of Earth.

That was the Voyager Interstellar Record, carried by both Voyager 1 and 2. Good libraries should have a copy of Carl Sagan's account of the record's creation, _Murmurs of Earth_.
The record also included a selection of the finest samples of Earth music, including "Johnny B. Good". Saturday Night Live, shortly after Voyager 1's launch, quipped that Earth had received its first commuication from another civilization. The message was short: "Send more Chuck Berry."  Smile
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9227
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:52 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 38):
Somehow I feel sorry for Voyager 1, 2, Pioneer 10 and New Horizon...

IMO... it's kind of reassuring that they are out here. If an astroid, nuclear war, or some plague wiped out humanity tomorrow, it's nice to know there is some evidence of our civilization not on this planet.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 36):
Pluto is rather cold for a reason, so solar arrays are out of the question.

Low temperature isn't the reason for RTG power, the lack of solar intensity beyond Mars makes solar power unpractical.

Small pellets of radioactive material are placed in various portions of the spacecraft to keep systems warm without wasting valuable electricity.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 39):
I think of our stellar-bound space probes as representing all of humankind, not just the United States

I'm a large proponent for a federated planet, but I take a great degree of pride that these probes are built and launched by the U.S.

Every place-in-the-sun civilization has some sort of artifact that represents them long after their demise. The Egyptians had the Pyramids, Romans had the aquaducts, etc, etc. The U.S. has the most extensive contribution to space science and the only nation with deep space probes.

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 37):
The Galileo atmospheric probe entered Jupiter's atmosphere at a speed of over 106,000 mph.

Good point. I suppose I should say that NH is the fastest probe during cruise.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4433
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:09 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 43):
I'm a large proponent for a federated planet, but I take a great degree of pride that these probes are built and launched by the U.S.

Ehre wem Ehre gebührt! (Honour to the one who deserves it)

The US certainly did a lot for space exploration, be it the manned landing on the moon, the Voyager and Pioneer probes or the contribution to the ISS (which was a US idea in the beginning). So the US can and should be proud of what they achieved.

Therefore I really think the exploration of space, the whole NASA is one of the biggest ambassadors of the US worldwide. Don't underestimate the respect NASA gets, even from people who otherwise aren't a big fan of the US.

All politics aside, what the Russians and US did in space exploration during the last 50 years is absolutely stunning and shows the best side of mankind. Likewise, I also feel proud that Germans like Wernher von Braun were allowed to use their knowledge in a peaceful way after the somewhat questionable beginning of the V2.

BTW, Galileo had a German-built engine

EDIT: This is a link to the plate which is found on board of Voyager: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:GPN-2000-001978.jpg

[Edited 2006-01-21 01:13:52]
 
Bobster2
Posts: 1523
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:04 am

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:03 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 38):
Somehow I feel sorry for Voyager 1, 2, Pioneer 10 and New Horizon... They are technological masterpieces but will never come back, yet they still work or worked until some years ago...

Is that really true? Are they fast enough to achieve escape velocity from the Sun? Will they come back in the far distant future?

I'm conufsed. I read that escape velocity from the Sun is 600 km/s, which is over a million miles per hour. Voyagers and the others aren't that fast, right?

edit: Obviously that's the escape velocity at the surface of the Sun. What is the escape velocity from the Sun relative to the Earth's orbit?

[Edited 2006-01-21 02:08:36]
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4433
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:42 am

I couldn't find anything about this, but will New Horizon have a plate onboard, like Voyager and Pioneer had?
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:03 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 46):
I couldn't find anything about this, but will New Horizon have a plate onboard, like Voyager and Pioneer had?

I have not read that New Horizons has a plate on board. It does have the ashes of the late Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of the planet Pluto.   I think that he will have the unique honor of not only visiting the planet he discovered, albeit posthumously, but also being the first posthumous human visitor to interstellar space, in years hence.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 44):
The US certainly did a lot for space exploration, be it the manned landing on the moon, the Voyager and Pioneer probes or the contribution to the ISS (which was a US idea in the beginning). So the US can and should be proud of what they achieved.

I agree with you, and I am proud of our achievements as Americans. I am also proud that NASA shares so freely with the world, because I think that the world deserves to experience the exploration of space vicariously. I think that the vision of shared exploration is a universal good, and the more we promote it as such, the better it is for America -- because the better it is for mankind as a whole. And not only NASA, but also ESA, JAXA, and other space agencies have freely shared their knowledge with the world.

We are all on this planet together, and our political differences should not be allowed to obscure that fact. A small country in an obscure part of the world can yet produce the next genius who, with tender care and nurturing, and imbued with a vision of stars and planets, might invent an interstellar drive that would allow us all to take a quantum leap into places far beyond our ken. Whether or not we are federated is not, in my view, as important as our common humanity. Earth is our common home, and the universe is there for all of us both to discover and contribute as we can.

After all, it's a very, very big universe, and humanity is still only beginning to explore it. In such a huge and often hostile place of which Earth is a part, all of us, of all nationalities, would surely appreciate as many human friends we can get.

 

[Edited 2006-01-21 03:13:41]
What's fair is fair.
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:24 pm

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:12 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 43):
Good point. I suppose I should say that NH is the fastest probe during cruise.

How about fastest existing probe.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 43):
Low temperature isn't the reason for RTG power, the lack of solar intensity beyond Mars makes solar power unpractical.

Pluto would be a much warmer if solar intensity was higher. The fact that it is not is in part due to the lack of solar intensity. Now if it were made of plutonium, it would be nice and toasty assuming the planet didn't go critical.

Quoting Thorny (Reply 42):
No, the United States has never launched a nuclear reactor into space. NASA uses RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) which are passive devices that generate electricty through a thermocoupler that gets heat from the natural decay of plutonium. Nuclear fission is not involved.

The US launched SNAP-10A which had a nuclear reactor.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 45):
Is that really true? Are they fast enough to achieve escape velocity from the Sun? Will they come back in the far distant future?

I'm conufsed. I read that escape velocity from the Sun is 600 km/s, which is over a million miles per hour. Voyagers and the others aren't that fast, right?

edit: Obviously that's the escape velocity at the surface of the Sun. What is the escape velocity from the Sun relative to the Earth's orbit?

They have indeed escaped from the Sun. They are not comming back, ever, unless someone goes out there and brings them back. This is possible because of gravitational assists from Jupiter(mainly). You don't need to attain the escape velocity from the Sun relative to Earth's orbit, just relative to the orbit of Jupiter - since that is where you get your last "boost". At least, that was my impression.

There is an additional factor beyond the Sun's gravity weakening with distance. You get to count the speed of Earth in its orbit towards the speed needed to escape from the Sun. Note that it takes much less energy to launch a planetary probe from low earth orbit than it does from the surface of the Earth It is orbital energy that is most important in this case, not altitude. That I believe that that is the gist of it, though it is more complicated than that.

Solar escape can even happen naturally. It is believed that many small objects are ejected from Solar orbit every year. Even planet-sized objects may have been ejected in the past. The right combination of colisions and other encounters make it not that difficult to escape in the right circumstances.

IN SHORT..... Solar escape is not as difficult as it first appears.

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