The New Horizon spacecraft has encountered from an organized 165-day hibernation period, and on the New Year’s Day 2019, it would fly by Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule. Kuiper Belt is the undiscovered outer region of the solar system, which includes Pluto and some other rocky planets. A radio signal sent more than 40 times of the distance between the sun and the earth. This signal sent on Tuesday from the spacecraft has reached Earth 5 hours and 40 minutes later.
According to radio signals, New Horizons had executed on computer, commands on board in order to exit the hibernation reached mission operation at the laboratory of Physics in Laurel, Maryland, via NASA’s Deep Space Network. According to the Mission Principal, Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, “the team is planning for the upcoming flyby of Ultima Thule. The New Horizon has returned with the more active state to fly-by operations which will start in August.
This week the 165-day hibernation will end, which has been declared by NASA in a press release recently. New Horizons launched in the year 2006. This will explore first Kuiper belt, Pluto and the fastest spacecraft ever launched. In the year 2019, Jan 1st the next encounter is being prepared by the unmanned piano-sized probe. The mission team will collect the navigation tracking data in next three days. They will use signals from the deep space network to make it successful. The team will command New Horizons to start its mission and make the distance observation to Ultima. The images will help the team to refine the spacecraft course to flyby objects.
New Horizons is the first spacecraft in NASA to fly by Pluto, and its other activities made distance records. According to Voyager Principal Investigator Edward Stone, “space is the newest discovery of humankind. “According to NASA “the spacecraft is expected to observe at least former KBOs in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets and two-dozen other KBOs, dwarf planets and “Centaurs”
A New Horizon is now 62 million km, less than twice the distance between Earth and the Sun, from Ultima, speeding 1,223,420 km closer each day. This will remain active until 2020, and it has transmitted all data from Ultima encounter to the Earth and completed Kuiper Belt observation scientifically.