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Final ‘Pre-Pluto’ Annual Checkout Begins

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Final ‘Pre-Pluto’ Annual Checkout Begins

New Horizons’ annual checkout – its eighth since launch in 2006 and last before next year’s rendezvous with Pluto – kicks off this week with some onboard subsystem housekeeping and navigation-tracking tasks. But the pace picks up soon enough with a slate of operations that carries through most of the summer.

Early on June 15, flight controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, configured their ground systems to receive telemetry from the spacecraft as it transitioned out of its low-activity hibernation mode, where it had been since mid-January. They, along with NASA Deep Space Network operators and other team members, monitored New Horizons for most of the day to verify that all systems were normal.

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