Space Science Reviews

, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 93–127

New Horizons: Anticipated Scientific Investigations at the Pluto System

Authors

    • Southwest Research Institute
  • S. Alan Stern
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • Harold A. Weaver
    • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
  • Fran Bagenal
    • University of Colorado
  • Richard P. Binzel
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bonnie Buratti
    • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Andrew F. Cheng
    • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
  • Dale Cruikshank
    • NASA Ames Research Center
  • G. Randall Gladstone
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • William M. Grundy
    • Lowell Observatory
  • David P. Hinson
    • Stanford University
  • Mihaly Horanyi
    • University of Colorado
  • Donald E. Jennings
    • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Ivan R. Linscott
    • Stanford University
  • David J. McComas
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • William B. McKinnon
    • Washington University
  • Ralph McNutt
    • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
  • Jeffery M. Moore
    • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Scott Murchie
    • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
  • Catherine B. Olkin
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • Carolyn C. Porco
    • Space Science Institute
  • Harold Reitsema
    • Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation
  • Dennis C. Reuter
    • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • John R. Spencer
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • David C. Slater
    • Southwest Research Institute
  • Darrell Strobel
    • Johns Hopkins University
  • Michael E. Summers
    • George Mason University
  • G. Leonard Tyler
    • Stanford University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11214-008-9462-9

Cite this article as:
Young, L.A., Stern, S.A., Weaver, H.A. et al. Space Sci Rev (2008) 140: 93. doi:10.1007/s11214-008-9462-9

Abstract

The New Horizons spacecraft will achieve a wide range of measurement objectives at the Pluto system, including color and panchromatic maps, 1.25–2.50 micron spectral images for studying surface compositions, and measurements of Pluto’s atmosphere (temperatures, composition, hazes, and the escape rate). Additional measurement objectives include topography, surface temperatures, and the solar wind interaction. The fulfillment of these measurement objectives will broaden our understanding of the Pluto system, such as the origin of the Pluto system, the processes operating on the surface, the volatile transport cycle, and the energetics and chemistry of the atmosphere. The mission, payload, and strawman observing sequences have been designed to achieve the NASA-specified measurement objectives and maximize the science return. The planned observations at the Pluto system will extend our knowledge of other objects formed by giant impact (such as the Earth–moon), other objects formed in the outer solar system (such as comets and other icy dwarf planets), other bodies with surfaces in vapor-pressure equilibrium (such as Triton and Mars), and other bodies with N2:CH4 atmospheres (such as Titan, Triton, and the early Earth).

Keywords

PlutoCharonNixHydraNew Horizons
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008