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.