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New Horizons Flyby on Jan 1st 2019

I understand the basics of Orbital Mechanics , thrust to escape gravity, trajectory to reach an object among other things, but slingshots round another planet to reach another planet have always boggled my mind so here is a new one to ponder.

On January 1, the New Horizons spacecraft, the one famous for flying by Pluto, will pass by Ultima Thule to explore this strange rock and try to learn more about the very formation of our solar system.

After New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015, its mission scientists chose Ultima Thule as its next stop in the Kuiper belt, mainly because New Horizons had the ability to reach it with its remaining fuel.

But the New Years flyby is significant because Ultima will be the very farthest object in the solar system humanity has ever explored, and one of the most primitive.

Because Ultima is in such a cold, remote, and quiet region of the solar system, it’s probably been orbiting the sun undisturbed for nearly the entire age of the solar system.

“We expect that Ultima is the most well-preserved sample of a planetary building block ever explored,” Alan Stern, the principal investigator of New Horizons, writes in a blog post. “What will Ultima reveal? No one knows. To me, that is what’s most exciting — this is pure exploration and fundamental science!”

1546003489943.png


To Stern, the flyby — and the images that come from it — will be akin to the famous “Earthrise” photo taken by the Apollo 8 mission 50 years ago.

New Horizons will pass by Ultima Thule around 12:33 am Eastern on January 1, right after the start of the New Year. You can follow along with NASA on the NASA TV live stream. New Horizons will also be carrying messages from the public.
 
I understand the basics of Orbital Mechanics , thrust to escape gravity, trajectory to reach an object among other things, but slingshots round another planet to reach another planet have always boggled my mind so here is a new one to ponder.

On January 1, the New Horizons spacecraft, the one famous for flying by Pluto, will pass by Ultima Thule to explore this strange rock and try to learn more about the very formation of our solar system.

After New Horizons flew past Pluto in 2015, its mission scientists chose Ultima Thule as its next stop in the Kuiper belt, mainly because New Horizons had the ability to reach it with its remaining fuel.

But the New Years flyby is significant because Ultima will be the very farthest object in the solar system humanity has ever explored, and one of the most primitive.

Because Ultima is in such a cold, remote, and quiet region of the solar system, it’s probably been orbiting the sun undisturbed for nearly the entire age of the solar system.

“We expect that Ultima is the most well-preserved sample of a planetary building block ever explored,” Alan Stern, the principal investigator of New Horizons, writes in a blog post. “What will Ultima reveal? No one knows. To me, that is what’s most exciting — this is pure exploration and fundamental science!”

View attachment 368713

To Stern, the flyby — and the images that come from it — will be akin to the famous “Earthrise” photo taken by the Apollo 8 mission 50 years ago.

New Horizons will pass by Ultima Thule around 12:33 am Eastern on January 1, right after the start of the New Year. You can follow along with NASA on the NASA TV live stream. New Horizons will also be carrying messages from the public.

A bit of music to go with it
 

DAS

War Hero
The law of unintended consequences springs to mind. Bet it "nudges" something and the next thing we know Bruce willis is on a titanium shuttle for a drilling mission.
 
I understand the basics of Orbital Mechanics , thrust to escape gravity, trajectory to reach an object among other things, but slingshots round another planet to reach another planet have always boggled my mind so here is a new one to ponder.

'Slingshots' to get closer to the Sun mess with my lobes in particular.
 
The law of unintended consequences springs to mind. Bet it "nudges" something and the next thing we know Bruce willis is on a titanium shuttle for a drilling mission.
If that's the case, could we please send every known copy of that movie along with him?
 
I found this little GIF of the probes view on approach from K-52 to K-19. K being the equivalent of D apparently.

 
NASA just pulled off humanity's farthest-ever visit to a space object — the New Horizons probe's successfully flew by Ultima Thule
Dave Mosher and Rebecca Harrington 20m

The spacecraft phoned home at 10:39 a.m. EST, confirming it wasn't destroyed by the maneuver. This makes Ultima Thule the most distant object that humanity has ever visited.

New Horizons pulled off the maneuver on New Year's Day, taking hundreds of photos in a highly choreographed, pre-programmed sequence. The space probe reached its closest point to the space rock — about 2,200 miles— at 12:33 a.m. EST. New Horizons then turned around to photograph its exit at a speed of about 32,000 mph.

The mission was as surprising as it was ambitious: When NASA launched New Horizons toward Pluto in 2006, nobody knew Ultima Thule existed. There wasn't even a reliable way to detect the object (formally known as 2014 MU 69) until astronauts plugged an upgraded camera into the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.

"This is a much more challenging flyby than the flyby of Pluto," Alan Stern, who leads the New Horizons mission, said during a press conference before the flyby. "I can't promise you success. We are straining at the capabilities of this spacecraft."

But a signal acquired by NASA and Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) confirmed the spacecraft survived. The first images are expected to arrive at Earth Tuesday night and be published early Wednesday morning.

1546360011769.png
 
Just reading that again, so here you have a craft travelling at THIRTY TWO THOUSAND miles an hour that got to within TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED miles of a rock Just NINETEEN miles wide FORTY ONE billion miles away and managed to take a THOUSAND high res images that will take TWO years to get them all back to earth.

INCREDIBLE STUFF NASA.
 
NASA just pulled off humanity's farthest-ever visit to a space object — the New Horizons probe's successfully flew by Ultima Thule
Dave Mosher and Rebecca Harrington 20m

The spacecraft phoned home at 10:39 a.m. EST, confirming it wasn't destroyed by the maneuver. This makes Ultima Thule the most distant object that humanity has ever visited.

New Horizons pulled off the maneuver on New Year's Day, taking hundreds of photos in a highly choreographed, pre-programmed sequence. The space probe reached its closest point to the space rock — about 2,200 miles— at 12:33 a.m. EST. New Horizons then turned around to photograph its exit at a speed of about 32,000 mph.

The mission was as surprising as it was ambitious: When NASA launched New Horizons toward Pluto in 2006, nobody knew Ultima Thule existed. There wasn't even a reliable way to detect the object (formally known as 2014 MU 69) until astronauts plugged an upgraded camera into the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.

"This is a much more challenging flyby than the flyby of Pluto," Alan Stern, who leads the New Horizons mission, said during a press conference before the flyby. "I can't promise you success. We are straining at the capabilities of this spacecraft."

But a signal acquired by NASA and Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) confirmed the spacecraft survived. The first images are expected to arrive at Earth Tuesday night and be published early Wednesday morning.

View attachment 369340


I keep reading Ultima Thule as Thulsa Doom, and then getting a mental image of Diane Abbott...

:blank:
.
 
Fantastic feat from NASA. Well done.

I have a question - that previous elongated flat rock object that came into our solar system a couple of months ago, why don't they plant a spacecraft like U.T. (see what I did there!) on one of those objects and allow it to ride it around its orbit? Or stick something on the moon to monitor the earth ?
 
Just reading that again, so here you have a craft travelling at THIRTY TWO THOUSAND miles an hour that got to within TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED miles of a rock Just NINETEEN miles wide FORTY ONE billion miles away and managed to take a THOUSAND high res images that will take TWO years to get them all back to earth.

INCREDIBLE STUFF NASA.
Brilliant feat.
I was wondering about the two years' to send all the high-res pics back to Earth.
Then it dawned on me: when the probe was launched, the only transfer technology available was dial-up!
 
Fantastic feat from NASA. Well done.

I have a question - that previous elongated flat rock object that came into our solar system a couple of months ago, why don't they plant a spacecraft like U.T. (see what I did there!) on one of those objects and allow it to ride it around its orbit? Or stick something on the moon to monitor the earth ?

A) They didn't know it was coming and I believe its trajectory means it is not coming back. I imagine they'd be quite keen to have a look at anything similar that passes by but again you need to know its coming and have a probe ready to send to it.

B) You can only see what can be seen from the moon and it is really far away. Different orbits give you better and closer views of stuff you might want to look at. For example, the polar regions are difficult to see from the moon.
 
Brilliant feat.
I was wondering about the two years' to send all the high-res pics back to Earth.
Then it dawned on me: when the probe was launched, the only transfer technology available was dial-up!
You mean there is a telephone wire attached to it from Earth, who knew ? :)

I presume the issue is the sheer amount of photographic data with each image taking 6.5 hrs to reach earth with (possibly) a battery recharge in between each one, or maybe the Arial orientation is wrong at certain times. Maybe.
 
A) They didn't know it was coming and I believe its trajectory means it is not coming back. I imagine they'd be quite keen to have a look at anything similar that passes by but again you need to know its coming and have a probe ready to send to it.

B) You can only see what can be seen from the moon and it is really far away. Different orbits give you better and closer views of stuff you might want to look at. For example, the polar regions are difficult to see from the moon.
a) NASA landed one on a Meteor a few years back which must be floating around in orbit somewhere but I don't think it was set up to last forever ?
 
You mean there is a telephone wire attached to it from Earth, who knew ? :)

I presume the issue is the sheer amount of photographic data with each image taking 6.5 hrs to reach earth with (possibly) a battery recharge in between each one, or maybe the Arial orientation is wrong at certain times. Maybe.

The bandwidth just isnt very 'wide' given the power and distance constraints. The Voyager probes transmit at about 4 watts and given the similarity between the probes (the BFO satellite dish) I assume New Horizons is similar.

EDIT Getting the spelling of band together, Man.
 
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