19 December 2005

Ye Olde Plutoe Facte Sheete

Click here to read a good article in the Washington Post today regarding New Horizons...real good, actually...answers all those little questions that people always ask me.

A quick review:
Mission Cost: $700M
Spacecraft Mass: About 1000 lbs, including propellant
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-551
Launch Window: 1.17.2005 - 2.14.2005
Arrival at Pluto: 2015 if launch in first 11 days, else 2019-2020
Spacecraft Velocity: 28,000-30,000 mph after 3rd stage separation
Passes the Moon in: 8 hours (Apollo took 3 days)
Jupiter Gravity Assist: February 2007 (Galileo took 6 years)
Velocity after Jupiter Gravity Assist: 47,000 mph
Communications delay at Pluto: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Useful Links:
New Horizons Wikipedia Entry
Streaming Video of New Horizons at Kennedy Space Center
Johns Hopkins Magazine - Mission: Pluto

Very Useful Link, especially on Launch Day:
Mission Status Center at Spaceflight Now

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