07/07/2015 – Ephemeris – New Horizons will resume science gathering after glitch July 4th.
Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 9:30. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:56 tomorrow morning. Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:05.
On July 4th, the New Horizons spacecraft, now one week from is flyby of Pluto, suffered a glitch and went into safe mode. It, however switched to its backup computer, and is now in contact with the Earth. Sunday night it was determined that the problem was a timing flaw in a command sequence preparing for Pluto encounter. Normal spacecraft operations will resume today. Two way communication time is now nearly 9 hours, almost half a day. Earth day that is. New Horizons is approaching Pluto at 31,000 miles an hour. The spacecraft will have only a few hours to observe Pluto and its moons at their closest next Tuesday. It’s getting down to crunch time for the little spacecraft.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
I wrote Tuesday’s program Sunday night before the announcement that the problem with New Horizons was found and the spacecraft would back to normal on Tuesday. I found that out just before recording the programs, and had to do a quick fix. With New Horizons problems found, I could write the July 13th program I had planned. I write and record 5 programs at a time – Tuesday through Monday.