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The Pluto Perspective: No Sleep Until After the Flyby

17 Jul 2020, 15:00 UTC
The Pluto Perspective: No Sleep Until After the Flyby

NASA

By the Pluto flyby on July 14, 2015, most of the New Horizons engineering team was running on fumes. The spacecraft had been operating in 3-axis (observation) mode for most of the year, conducting optical navigation, long-distance science, and the occasional trajectory correction maneuver to stay on course. Given the cadence of communications with New Horizons through NASA's Deep Space Network, sometimes I would be on shift starting at 6 a.m., only to start another shift at 8 p.m. the same day.

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