The Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has been bought out of hibernation for a series of engineering and navigation checks.
A minor course correction burn was completed on: Monday, July 14, 2014.
They will continue until the end of August when New Horizons will go back into hibernation until mid-January 2015. Afterwards, the spacecraft will be kept active right up until after the historic Pluto system encounter on: Tuesday, July 14, 2015.
The image above is from Monday, July 21, 2014.
Pluto and Charon seen dead center in this one-quarter-resolution frame from New Horizons’ LORRI (LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager) Camera.
Charon is at the four o’clock position with respect to Pluto.
Pluto and Charon were 426.51 million kilometers / 264.86 million miles away at the time from New Horizons and appeared in front of the stars in southern Ophiuchus.
Bottom line: New Horizons – en route to Pluto – is currently out of hibernation for a series of engineering and navigation checks, which will continue until the end of August 2014. The spacecraft will sweep closest to Pluto on July 14, 2015.
Andrew R. Brown lives in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom and works for local government, Kent County Council. He is directly involved with sharing ideas and thoughts with several NASA missions, particularly the Mercury MESSENGER mission, and has struck up good relationships with the MESSENGER team and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team. He has suggested quite a few observations that were then carried out by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE instrument. Earlier, some of his suggested observations of Jupiter's moon Io were carried out by the New Horizons spacecraft, now on its way to a Pluto encounter in 2015.