The Goldstone 70-m antenna, one of three antennae that are part of the Deep Space Network. Source: NASA
Wake up, New Horizons! This Saturday, December 6, New Horizons will come out of hibernation for the last time before its encounter in July 2015. Throughout the cruise, New Horizons has been put in and out of hibernation, which prevents the electronics from aging as quickly during the nine years they’ve spent in space so far. It won’t return to hibernation for at least the next two years.
There will be some events going on for the wake-up: the mission will be live-tweeting the wake up. Once we hear from the spacecraft, an announcement will be made to the media, and there will be a wakeup song, . The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla has a write-up on the wake-up and the encounter. The Planetary Society is also hosting a live wake-up event, on Saturday December 6 from 9 to 10 PM EST.
While the folks at Mission Operations (MOps) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) will be testing the spacecraft over the next month, I don’t have any duties related to the wake up as a post-doc on ...