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Postcards from Pluto

The SwRI contingent of the New Horizons post-Pluto encounter...

25 Jul 2014, 14:01 UTC
The SwRI contingent of the New Horizons post-Pluto encounter...
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The SwRI contingent of the New Horizons post-Pluto encounter target search team during one of our daily phone meetings in Marc Buie’s office.
L to R: Marc Buie, Alex Parker (Berkeley), John Spencer, Cathy Olkin, Anne Verbiscer (UVA), and Simon Porter.Our first Hubble Space Telescope images were taken on June 16. The last set of image were taken on June 26. If we didn’t find 2 objects by June 30, the folks at Space Telescope Science Institute (who manage HST) wouldn’t be able to plan our the rest of our program in time for its July 7 start date. We basically dropped everything that we were doing to work on the search until we got something. Alex flew out from Berkeley on a one-way ticket. Marc, who had trips to Hawaii and Finland planned during that time, had to cancel both of them. Read that last sentence again.
Meanwhile, the New Horizons spacecraft was scheduled to come out of hibernation. Members of the science team participated in a dry run for encounter time: they practiced studying mock images and preparing a press release about what they found under a clock. We didn’t do any of that because we had to ...

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