New Horizones Will be Awakened from Sleep Today

Astronomy Science ~ A NASA spacecraft will be awakened from his sleep today to begin preparation epic encounter with Pluto and its moons in...

Astronomy Science ~ A NASA spacecraft will be awakened from his sleep today to begin preparation epic encounter with Pluto and its moons in this year that will close a nine-year journey to the edge of the solar system.

New Horizons left Earth in January 2006 and has traveled about 2.9 billion miles to study Pluto and its largest moon Charon, as well as several months of smaller and little objects in the Kuiper Belt. This vehicle has captured images of Pluto and Charon, but it is nothing compared to its closest approach in 2015.

New Horizons has spent about two-thirds of its journey in sleep mode, during that time, most computer systems and instruments are closed to reduce consumption and lower operating costs. These weekly rides sends a signal back to Earth, and wake up every six to 10 months to make sure that he is still operating.

Illustration of Pluto and New Horizons spacecraft
Illustration of Pluto and New Horizons spacecraft
Today, the main computer will start up and wake up, New Horizons will then send a confirmation message is simple to scientists at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Because it moves at the speed of light, this message will take 4 hours 25 minutes to get to Earth.

"It's very exciting because even though we have lull 18 times and recovered each time, this is the one that really counts," said Harold Weaver, project scientist for the New Horizons mission at Johns Hopkins APL. New Horizons will start taking the data in the region of Pluto.

In February 2007, before entering the first phase of sleep, New Horizons approach to Jupiter, which is "about 3 to 4 times closer" than the Cassini spacecraft as it passed close to Jupiter. New Horizons capture stunning images of Jupiter, and also use the planet's gravity to boost its speed by 20 percent, reducing the time to reach Pluto three years, said Weaver.

Only four other spacecraft has traveled far out into the solar system such as New Horizons. This will be the first space probe that approached near Pluto, which is only 7767 miles (12,500 km) from the surface of the dwarf planet. This vehicle will pass through Pluto and heading into the Kuiper Belt: a disc-shaped region that is made of ice and rocky that research can be the most populous regions in the solar system. According to Weaver, studying the Kuiper Belt could offer scientific insights about how our solar system formed. Currently, New horizons of racing at the speed of 23 km / s (83,000 km / h; 51.000 mph)
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Astronomy Science: New Horizones Will be Awakened from Sleep Today
New Horizones Will be Awakened from Sleep Today
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