Nov 08 2015

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New Horizons on course for 2014 MU69

New Horizons Completes Targeting Maneuvers. New Horizons completed the fourth of four maneuvers to set it on a course for 2014 MU69, and should intercept it on 1 January 2019.

The maneuvers didn’t speed or slow the spacecraft as much as they “pushed” New Horizons sideways, giving it a 57 meter per second (128 mile per hour) nudge toward the Kuiper Belt object (KBO). That’s enough to allow New Horizons to intercept MU69 in just over three years.

The spacecraft is currently 895 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) from MU69. All systems remain healthy and the spacecraft continues to transmit data stored on its digital recorders from its flight through the Pluto system in July.

The MU69 mission still has to be approved, but I think that’s a formality. New Horizons has been such a success it’s difficult for me to believe that NASA will shut it down.

Related article:
New Horizons Conducts Final Course Correction for New Year’s Day Flyby of Next KBO in 2019

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/08/new-horizons-on-course-for-2014-mu69/

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