Jul 14 2015

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Liveblogging New Horizon’s “Phone Home” check-in

Time (All times Pacific) Observtions
1801 NASA TV ends it’s broadcast. Always nice to record a bit of history here at NewSpaceRaces!!
1757 Power and Thermal both report nominal.

We have a healthy spacecraft, and we’re outbound from Pluto!!!!!

1755 Subsystems reporting in. RF nominal. Autonomy nominal. TNDH reports clear signal. GNC is nominal all hardware reports good status. Propulsion nominal.
1754 Deep Space Network reports we are locked with Telemetry from the space craft!!
1746 Cool interviews with Clyde Tombaugh’s son and daughter. Some of his ashes are on New Horizons. I didn’t realize that he was essentially an amateur astronomer that built his own telescopes.
1745 New Horizons is already over 300,000 miles past Pluto!
1741 Cool time-lapse video of how much Pluto has grown in New Horizon’s vision over the past few months:

And they just said that the data we’ll get from the fly-by will be 10x better resolution than the false-color image released yesterday.

1736 They just mentioned the Flight Control team — those are my KinetX bubbas!! SAL-UTE!!
1733 New Horizons has been out of contact since 2017 last night. So it’ll be heard around 1753 today, so over 20 hours out of contact. I’m sure there are some nervous stomachs at JHU APL and NASA by now.
1730 NASA TV begins its broadcast. Cool — it starts with a live address from Stephen Hawking!
1728 Here’s the latest imagery from Pluto from yesterday:

A false-color composite of Pluto and Charon

1721 So far, NASA TV (Channel 347 in my TV package) is running re-runs from this morning’s closest approach coverage. NASA.TV is running a special about the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975. It’s the 40th anniversary of that mission.
1715 I thought about Liveblogging New Horizon’s closest approach, but all I’d be relaying is folks looking at a clock and then celebrating when the clock read 0749 Eastern. I think it’ll be much more interesting to liveblog the moment that New Horizon’s checks back in after its radio silence and NSA starts receiving data from the probe.

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