NASA's Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
August 28, 2009
New Horizons Checks Out, Enters Hibernation
The New Horizons mission team has closed out a successful summer workout, putting its Pluto-bound spacecraft back into hibernation Aug. 27 after seven weeks of functional tests and system checks.
The mission’s third annual checkout (ACO-3), which started July 7, “went very well,” says Mission System Engineer Chris Hersman, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “New Horizons is in good shape.”
The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) and Solar Wind at Pluto (SWAP) instruments also each accumulated about a day’s worth of data on the interplanetary gases and particles around the spacecraft – currently 1.33 billion miles (2.13 billion kilometers) from the Sun, nearly halfway between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, more than 14 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.
For frequent mission updates, follow the New Horizons Twitter page at www.twitter.com/newhorizons2015.