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New Horizons on schedule ! (Read 5415 times)
frankuitaalst
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New Horizons on schedule !
04/30/09 at 09:17:00
 
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/mission_timeline.php gives the timeline of the New Horizons probe currently on its way to Pluto .  
In annex the amazing , but not spectacular , animation of NH voyage trough the solar system from the viewpoint of Pluto , looking down at the sun.  
NH is the white dot in the beginning leaving the planet Earth ( white orbit ) , which gets a gravity assist from Jupiter ( the red dot originally at the left ) .  
One can see NH approach Pluto . For an observer on Pluto there's amazingly no indication the probe is heading towards Pluto until the end of the animation where NH makes a dive under Pluto .
 
Initial conditions were taken from the JPL ephemeris on 01/01/2009 , ie after the gravity assist with Jupiter .  
I think the people of JPL made an incredibly  good precision job because I get a close encounter with Pluto at 14/07/2009 , precise on time at a distance of only 80.000 km , whereas the flight shedule predicts an approach on the same date at 10.000 km .  
So only a small upwards burn may be needed to be right on schedule .  
 
Animation can be downloaded to view on full screen .  
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NewHorizonsFrom_Pluto.gif
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frankuitaalst
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New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #1 - 05/02/09 at 05:59:06
 
Correction to the above post ...
Something must be awfully wrong with the New Horizons Probe !  cry
Herunder is an animation of the path of NH as seen from Earth , pointing at Pluto and Charon .  
Animation starts on January first 2009 and runs for 8 years.  
Viewangle is 30°.  
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NewHorizonsToPlutoFromEarth.gif
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Reply #2 - 05/02/09 at 08:42:47
 
Quote from frankuitaalst on 05/02/09 at 05:59:06:

Something must be awfully wrong with the New Horizons Probe !  cry
Herunder is an animation of the path of NH as seen from Earth , pointing at Pluto and Charon .
Animation starts on January first 2009 and runs for 8 years.
Viewangle is 30°.

Assuming that Pluto is a fixed point in your animation, it Looks perfect to me. Wink  You are seeing the non-fixed Earth cause a "wobble" every year as it orbits the Sun.  Have you tried the animation as viewed from the Sun?
 
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Re: New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #3 - 05/02/09 at 08:44:29
 
Grin Good one Frank,
 
From that perspective it looks like a drunk driver.
 
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frankuitaalst
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Re: New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #4 - 05/02/09 at 09:32:05
 
Yes , I remember some stories about drunk astronauts , but things get even worser even for spacecraft .. Grin
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frankuitaalst
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Re: New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #5 - 05/02/09 at 10:50:09
 
At last New Horizons is behaving when Sun is watching  Wink
Sim starts at 01/01/2009 . Viewangle is 20°.  
The last frame is magnified 1000 x . Pluto is centered . Charon is also visible.
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NewHorizonsFromSunToPluto_plus_zoom_1000.gif
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frankuitaalst
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New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #6 - 05/30/14 at 02:42:03
 
"Soon" New horizons will meet Pluto .  
 
A big while ago I made the following animation showing New Horizons view on the Plutonian system when it arrivés at Pluto .  
The camera view is only 0.05 ° and stays centered on Pluto .  
Charons orbit is in grey .  
The sim starts about 200 days before close approach and ends about 300 days later .  
 
(I hope New Horizons will give us an lot better view ! Wink)
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PLutoFlyBy.gif
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Re: New Horizons on schedule !
Reply #7 - 06/01/14 at 14:15:41
 
Thank you for your illustrations Frankuitaalst !
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