NASA Kennedy Center Media Archive Collection
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - On Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Atlas V expendable launch vehicle with the New Horizons spacecraft is being moved from the Vertical Integration Facility to the pad. The liftoff is scheduled for 1:24 p.m. EST Jan. 17. After its launch aboard the Atlas V, the compact, 1,050-pound piano-sized probe will get a boost from a kick-stage solid propellant motor for its journey to Pluto. New Horizons will be the fastest spacecraft ever launched, reaching lunar orbit distance in just nine hours and passing Jupiter 13 months later. The New Horizons science payload, developed under direction of Southwest Research Institute, includes imaging infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers, a multi-color camera, a long-range telescopic camera, two particle spectrometers, a space-dust detector and a radio science experiment. The dust counter was designed and built by students at the University of Colorado, Boulder. A launch before Feb. 3 allows New Horizons to fly past Jupiter in early 2007 and use the planet?s gravity as a slingshot toward Pluto. The Jupiter flyby trims the trip to Pluto by as many as five years and provides opportunities to test the spacecraft?s instruments and flyby capabilities on the Jupiter system. New Horizons could reach the Pluto system as early as mid-2015, conducting a five-month-long study possible only from the close-up vantage of a spacecraft.
NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration John F. Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
Link To Source