January 30, 2006

New Horizons Setting Course for Jupiter

New Horizons successfully performed its first trajectory correction maneuver, tabbed "TCM-1A," on Jan. 28. The 4-minute, 36-second thruster firing changed New Horizons' velocity by just under 5 meters per second — and also gave the team a chance to calibrate and validate the spacecraft's propulsion system in preparation for a slightly larger maneuver set for 2 p.m EST today. Together the two maneuvers begin to refine the spacecraft's path toward Jupiter, allowing New Horizons to accurately hit a Jupiter Gravity Assist "aim point" that sets up a July 14, 2015, arrival date at Pluto.