New Horizons – Space Probe Overview

New Horizons

This space program was launched to explore the world beyond the solar system as far as Pluto and the Kuiper belt. It was launched in January 19th, 2006.

Design

The spacecraft is as small as the grand piano affixed with a 2.1m radio dish antenna. The inside of the spacecraft is painted black to balance the temperature through heat transfer.

Flight

Initially it was meant to be launched on January 11th, 2006, but delays due to borescope inspection pushed it forward to January 17th, 2006.

It reached Jupiter on February 28th, 2007 at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers. Its main mission was to observe its atmospheric conditions and examine the structures and composition of the surrounding clouds.

The closest it passed by Pluto was New within 12,500 km in July 14th 2015. By July of 2015 the rocket was so far away from Earth an estimated 4.5 light hours away meaning any information that it will transmit will take more than fifteen months to reach earth.

Future objectives

At the moment New Horizon is on its way to explore and transmit the data from Kuiper belts and it is expected to complete its mission due to plutonium decay. By 2038 it is expected to be 100AU from the sun.