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New Horizons Spacecraft Set To Resume Science Operations

6 Jul 2015, 08:15 UTC
New Horizons Spacecraft Set To Resume Science Operations
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NASA’s New Horizons probe will resume science operations following a recent glitch.

NASA’s New Horizons mission is scheduled to return to normal science operations on Tuesday after mission scientists identified the glitch that put the spacecraft into “safe mode” ahead of its historic Pluto flyby.

On Saturday, NASA’s New Horizons probe experienced an anomaly that resulted in a temporary loss of communication with Earth and put the spacecraft into a protective “safe mode.” An investigation conducted by the New Horizons’ Anomaly Review Board determined that no hardware of software flaw was to blame.

“The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby,” NASA said in an update posted on their website. “No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.”

Mission scientists are planning on resuming science operations on Tuesday, exactly one week ahead of New Horizons’ scheduled flyby of Pluto. The spacecraft will perform its highly anticipated flyby of Pluto as planned, making its closest approach to the dwarf planet on July 14.

“I’m pleased that our mission team quickly identified the problem and assured the health of ...

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