Thursday, July 9, 2015

Safe!! ............and safe..........

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post about communications to a satellite 4.5 hours away by light to tell you that New Horizons decided to have her (him? it?) own fireworks on the 4th of July.

By design, the spacecraft detected a problem on it's prime computer and promptly switched over to the backup one and safed itself. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, but it still makes our heart skip a beat! And since it was only a few days before Encounter mode started and a recovery takes many days (because our Round Trip Light Time to get a command there and back is almost 9 hours!!), it was a BUSY weekend. Many of our people hardly slept from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.

We are all happy to report that we are back on schedule and the spacecraft is NOW in Encounter Mode! We are starting to get science observations again, new pictures and scans, and the excitement is ramping up.


Who doesn't want to wear a New Horizons model for a hat?

And for now, here's the most recent LORRI picture, taken this morning.See the heart?