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Horizons Misson - Questions

  1. Jan 20, 2006 #1
    Horizons Misson -- Questions

    I looked for a topic on this, and couldn't find one. If anybody else has questions about it, please feel free to post them here.

    If anybody knows ... I looked on the Horizons' web site but didn't find (easy) answers.

    In relation to the other two NASA probes leaving the solar system, how will this probe eventually leave the solar system? Same axis, completely different axis? Same side of he solar system? Different side? Different inclination to the ecliptic?

    I've read how fast this probe is leaving the solar system. Will it overtake the other two probes in distance from Earth, and anytime soon?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2006 #2


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    In a few days, the position and velocity vectors will be released by JPL. If they include the anticipated post-Jupiter portion of the journey, I'll be able to answer your question very accurately.

    Without these, I'll give you my best guesses. Since it's visiting Pluto, it will likely depart the solar system on a trajectory whose inclination is close to Pluto's. I believe (but I can't find a reference at the moment) that there is a little fuel left to divert it to other as-of-yet undiscovered Kuiper belt objects if they happen to lie near its post-Pluto trajectory, so that may change a little.

    They will overtake the other departed spacecraft (Voyagers and Pioneers). My guess, about 25 years from now New Horizons will be the most distant man-made object.
  4. Jan 22, 2006 #3


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    JPL has released the figures.
    There are 4 other spacecraft leaving the solar system.
    Pioneer I
    Pioneer II
    Voyager I
    Voyager II
    New Horizons will overtake Pioneer I and Pioneer II in around the year 2200.
    New Horizons will never overtake the Voyagers. They're travelling faster. Perhaps millions of years in the future will change this after the galaxy rather than the Sun becomes the dominant gravitational force on the probes.
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