Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission was developed by NASA to study the Martian atmosphere while orbiting Mars. Mission goals include determining how the planet's atmosphere and water, presumed to have once been substantial, were lost over time. MAVEN was launched aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle at the beginning of the first launch window on November 18, 2013. Following the first engine burn of the Centaur second stage, the vehicle coasted in low Earth orbit for 27 minutes before a second Centaur burn of five minutes to insert it into a heliocentric Mars transit orbit. On September 22, 2014, MAVEN reached Mars and was inserted into an areocentric elliptic orbit 6,200 km by 150 km above the planet's surface; the principal investigator for the spacecraft is Bruce Jakosky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. On November 5, 2015, NASA announced that data from MAVEN shows that the deterioration of Mars' atmosphere increases during solar storms.
That loss of atmosphere to space played a key role in Mars' gradual shift from its carbon dioxide-dominated atmosphere – which had kept Mars warm and allowed the planet to support liquid surface water – to the cold, arid planet seen today. This shift took place between about 3.7 billion years ago. The mission was spawned by NASA's Mars Scout Program, although discontinued in 2010, yielded Phoenix, MAVEN, numerous missions' studies. Mars Scout missions target a cost of less than US$485 million, not including launch services, which cost $187 million; the total project costs up to $671 million. On September 15, 2008, NASA announced. There was one other finalist and eight other proposals that were competing against MAVEN; the name is a deliberate use of the word maven, "a person who has special experience. On August 2, 2013, the MAVEN spacecraft arrived at Kennedy Space Center Florida to begin launch preparations. NASA scheduled the launch of MAVEN from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 18, 2013, using an Atlas V 401 rocket.
The probe arrived in Mars orbit in September 2014, at the same time as India's Mars Orbiter Mission. On October 1, 2013, only seven weeks before launch, a government shutdown caused suspension of work for two days and threatened to force a 26-month postponement of the mission. With the spacecraft nominally scheduled to launch on November 18, a delay beyond December 7 would have caused MAVEN to miss the launch window as Mars moved too far out of alignment with the Earth. However, two days a public announcement was made that NASA had deemed the 2013 MAVEN launch so essential to ensuring future communication with current NASA assets on Mars—the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers—that emergency funding was authorized to restart spacecraft processing in preparation for an on-time launch. On September 22, 2014, at 2:24 UTC, MAVEN spacecraft entered orbit around Mars, completing an interplanetary journey of 10 months and 442 million miles. Features on Mars that resemble dry riverbeds and the discovery of minerals that form in the presence of water indicate that Mars once had a dense enough atmosphere and was warm enough for liquid water to flow on the surface.
However, that thick atmosphere was somehow lost to space. Scientists suspect that over millions of years, Mars lost 99% of its atmosphere as the planet's core cooled and its magnetic field decayed, allowing the solar wind to sweep away most of the water and volatile compounds that the atmosphere once contained; the goal of MAVEN is to determine the history of the loss of atmospheric gases to space, providing answers about Martian climate evolution. By measuring the rate with which the atmosphere is escaping to space and gathering enough information about the relevant processes, scientists will be able to infer how the planet's atmosphere evolved over time; the MAVEN mission has four primary scientific objectives: Determine the role that loss of volatiles to space from the Martian atmosphere has played through time. Determine the current state of the upper atmosphere and interactions with the solar wind. Determine the current rates of escape of neutral gases and ions to space and the processes controlling them.
Determine the ratios of stable isotopes in the Martian atmosphere. MAVEN reached Mars and maneuvered into orbit around the planet on September 21, 2014; the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on board the Curiosity rover was scheduled to make similar surface measurements from Gale crater by that date. The data from Curiosity will help guide the interpretation of MAVEN's upper atmosphere measurements. MAVEN's measurements will provide additional scientific context with which to test models for current methane formation in Mars. MAVEN was tested by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, its design is based on those of the Mars Reconnaissance Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The orbiter has a cubical shape of about 2.3 meters × 2.3 meters × 2 meters high, with two solar arrays that hold the magnetometers on both ends. The total length is 11.4 meters. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory provided an Electra ultra high frequency relay radio payload which has a data return rate of up to 2048 kbit/s; the elliptical orbit of the MAVEN spacecraft may limit its usefulness as a relay for operating landers on the surface, although the long view periods of MAVEN's orbit have afforded some of the largest relay data returns to date of any Mars orbiter.
During the mission's first year of operations at Mars — the primary science phase — MAVEN served as a backup relay orbiter. Going forward into the extended mission for a peri
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is a campus of the University of Colorado system, the state university system of Colorado. As of Fall 2017, UCCS has over 12,400 undergraduate and 1,822 graduate students, with 32% ethnic minority students. For public universities in the Master's Universities-West category it was ranked 6th, it has been ranked in the top ten on that list each year since 2002. For the 2015 rankings released by U. S. News, UCCS was tied 51st overall in the west for all public schools. Among public and for-profit universities, the UCCS undergraduate engineering program ranked 14th in the nation; the campus history begins with the creation of Cragmor Sanatorium, now Main Hall. In 1902, William Jackson Palmer donated funds to build a sanatorium; the Cragmor Sanatorium opened in 1905 and was nicknamed the "Sun Palace" due to its sun-loving architecture. In the following decades, it developed a following among the cultural elite, many of its patients were wealthy. However, they were hit hard by the Great Depression in the 1930s and Cragmor suffered from financial distress into the 1940s.
It was reinvigorated in the 1950s when a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs established Cragmor as a treatment center for Navajos with tuberculosis. About ten years the Navajo patients were transferred elsewhere; as early as 1945, University of Colorado offered classes in the Colorado Springs area at various locations Colorado College. By the 1960s, however, a permanent campus was desired. On February 16, 1961, the Committee for the Expansion of the University of Colorado was formed. Co-chairman were Ronald B Macintyre. Members included Angelo Christopher, Clint Cole, Albert Hesse, Don King, Don Kopis, Rosemary Macintyre, Dorothy Petta, Harrington Richardson, Joseph Reich, Robin Tibbets, Mike Valliant, Phyllis Warner, John Whigham. On March 4, 1961, they submitted a resolution to expand the extension of The University of Colorado to Colorado Springs. Legislators were favorable. After several more years of local and state meetings in June 1964, the next phase of UCCS's development came about when Dr. George Dwire, the Executive Director of the Cragmor Sanatorium, began formal actions necessary to transfer the assets of the Cragmoor Corporation to the University of Colorado.
The solution came when George T. Dwire sold the Cragmor Sanatorium property for $1 to the state, which became the property of the University of Colorado in 1964. In 1965, UCCS moved to its current location on Austin Bluffs Parkway in the Cragmor neighborhood of Northern Colorado Springs; the campus is located at one of the highest parts of the city. Because of its ties to Hewlett-Packard, initial university programs focused on engineering and business, classes were held in the Cragmor Sanatorium building, what is now Main Hall, Cragmor Hall, a modern expansion of Main Hall; the first building built for UCCS, Dwire Hall, was not complete until 1972. A 1997 community referendum merged Beth-El College of Nursing with UCCS. In recent years, programs such as the Network Information and Space Security Center were added to connect the university with the military to improve national security. Other programs, including the CU Institute for Bioenergetics and the Institute for Science and Space Studies, cast an eye toward the future.
In 2001, UCCS purchased an 87,000-square-foot building at the corner of Union and Austin Bluffs to house the Beth-El College of Nursing. The College of Letters and Sciences is the UCCS college of liberal arts and sciences, it is the largest college at UCCS, offering undergraduate programs in anthropology, art history, chemistry, economics, film studies and environmental studies, mathematics, physics, political science, sociology and visual and performing arts. It offers graduate programs in biology, communication, applied geography, applied mathematics, physics and sociology; the Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences is the UCCS nursing school. It has Health Science and Nursing; the college is accredited with the Colorado State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Both departments are located in the upper levels of University Hall about half a mile east from the main campus and in the northwest corner of the Austin Bluff at Union intersection. Degrees granted: Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in forensic science, allied health, or sports health and wellness.
The College of Business and Administration is the UCCS business school. It is located in Dwire Hall; the college established in 1965. It is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Degrees granted: Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Graduate: Masters in Business Administration in accounting, health care administration, information systems, international business, marketing, general business, operations management, pro
National Center for Atmospheric Research
The US National Center for Atmospheric Research is a US federally funded research and development center managed by the nonprofit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and funded by the National Science Foundation. NCAR has multiple facilities, including the I. M. Pei-designed Mesa Laboratory headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Studies include meteorology, climate science, atmospheric chemistry, solar-terrestrial interactions and societal impacts. NCAR was instrumental in developing lidar, light radar, now a key archaeological tool, as well as providing a broad array of tools and technologies to the scientific community for studying Earth’s atmosphere, Specialized instruments to measure atmospheric processes Research aircraft High-performance computing and cyberinfrastructure, including supercomputers Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Cooperative field campaigns Atmospheric models of weather, chemical and climate processes, including cooperatively developed models such as: Community Climate System Model Weather Research and Forecasting model Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model Technology transfer to support societal needs Data sets, data services, other resources NCAR Command Language, a programming language designed for use with climate and model data The center is staffed by scientists, engineers and support personnel.
Key research areas include Climate Meteorology/Weather Environmental and societal impacts Pollution and air chemistry the Sun and space weather Other components of the Earth system Notable scientists on the current staff at the center include Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Caspar Ammann, in past have included Paul Crutzen. Greg Holland initiated the multiscale modeling project "Predicting the Earth System Across Scales". NCAR is organized into seven laboratories and two programs:Laboratories Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling laboratory Climate and Global Dynamics laboratory Computational & Information Systems Laboratory —CISL was known as the Scientific Computing Division. CISL manages and operates NCAR's supercomputers, mass storage system and other computing and cyberinfrastructure services; the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences is a research division within CISL. Earth Observing Laboratory —EOL was known as the Atmospheric Technology Division. EOL manages and operates NCAR's lower atmosphere observing systems, including ground-based instrumentation and two research aircraft, on behalf of the NSF.
High Altitude Observatory —The oldest part of NCAR, HAO is NCAR's solar-terrestrial physics laboratory. Research foci are the Earth's upper atmosphere. HAO operates the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory. Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology laboratory Research Applications Laboratory Programs Advanced Study Program Integrated Science Program NCAR's service to the universities and larger geosciences community is reinforced by the offerings of UCAR's community programs. NCAR is managed by the nonprofit UCAR and is one of the NSF's Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, with 95% of its funding coming from the federal government. However, it is not a federal agency and its employees are not part of the federal personnel system. NCAR employs about 761 staff, its annual expenditures in fiscal year 2015 were $167.8 million. The founding director of NCAR was Walter Orr Roberts; the current director is Everette Joseph. NCAR has many opportunities for scientific visits to the facilities for workshops and collaboration by colleagues in academia, government labs, the private sector.
Many NCAR staff visit colleagues at universities and labs and serve as adjunct or visiting faculty. The Visitor Center at the Mesa Laboratory is open to the public daily at no charge. Guided tours and self-guided tablet tours include video and audio on one of the first supercomputers built by Seymour Cray as well as NCAR's modern supercomputer fleet, many hands-on educational exhibits demonstrating weather phenomena and Earth's changing climate, a scenic outdoor weather trail. Official website Public tours & exhibits, at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research High-end Computing at NCAR, at the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory NCAR Archives NCAR Research Data Archive OpenSky Repository NCAR news in The New York Times
ICESat was a satellite mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. It operated as part of NASA's Earth Observing System. ICESat was launched 13 January 2003 on a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California into a near-circular, near-polar orbit with an altitude of 600 km, it operated for seven years before being retired in February 2010, after its scientific payload shut down and scientists were unable to restart it. The ICESat mission was designed to provide elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas, it provides topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The satellite was found useful in assessing important forest characteristics, including tree density; the sole instrument on ICESat was the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, a space-based LIDAR.
GLAS combined a precision surface LIDAR with a sensitive dual-wavelength cloud and aerosol LIDAR. The GLAS lasers emit visible laser pulses at 1064 and 532 nm wavelengths; as ICESat orbited, GLAS produces a series of 70 m diameter laser spots that are separated by nearly 170 m along the spacecraft's ground track. During the commissioning phase of the mission, the ICESat was placed into an orbit which allowed the ground track to repeat every 8 days. During August and September 2004, the satellite was maneuvered into a 91-day repeating ground track for the main portion of the mission. ICESat was designed to operate for three to five years. Testing indicated that each GLAS laser should last for two years, requiring GLAS to carry three lasers in order to fulfil the nominal mission length. During the initial on orbit test operation, a pump diode module on the first GLAS laser failed prematurely on 29 March 2003. A subsequent investigation indicated that a corrosive degradation of the pump diodes, due to an unexpected but known reaction between indium solder and gold bonding wires, had reduced the reliability of the lasers.
Consequentially, the total operational life for the GLAS instrument was expected to be as little as less than a year as a result. After the two months of full operation in the fall of 2003, the operational plan for GLAS was changed, it was operated for one-month periods out of every three to six months in order to extend the time series of measurements for the ice sheets; the last laser failed on 11 October 2009, following attempts to restart it, the satellite was retired in February 2010. Between 23 June and 14 July, the spacecraft was manoeuvred into a lower orbit in order to speed up orbital decay. On 14 August 2010 it was decommissioned, at 08:49 UTC on 30 August 2010 it reentered the atmosphere. A follow-on mission, ICESat-2, was developed by NASA to continue studying polar ice changes, the biomass and carbon in vegetation; the satellite was launched on 15 September 2018 aboard a Delta II rocket. For the period of time in between the two satellites, NASA's Operation IceBridge used a Douglas DC-8 aircraft as a stopgap to measure ice thickness and collect other data.
ICESat by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center ICESat/GLAS by the Center for Space Research, University of Texas Webb, Charles E.. "The Ice and land Elevation Satellite: Summary Mission Timeline and Performance Relative to Pre-Launch Mission Success Criteria". NASA. TM-2013-217512
A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, navigation, space colonization, planetary exploration, transportation of humans and cargo. All spacecraft except single-stage-to-orbit vehicles cannot get into space on their own, require a launch vehicle. On a sub-orbital spaceflight, a space vehicle enters space and returns to the surface, without having gained sufficient energy or velocity to make a full orbit of the Earth. For orbital spaceflights, spacecraft enter closed orbits around the Earth or around other celestial bodies. Spacecraft used for human spaceflight carry people on board as crew or passengers from start or on orbit only, whereas those used for robotic space missions operate either autonomously or telerobotically. Robotic spacecraft used to support scientific research are space probes. Robotic spacecraft that remain in orbit around a planetary body are artificial satellites.
To date, only a handful of interstellar probes, such as Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, New Horizons, are on trajectories that leave the Solar System. Orbital spacecraft may be recoverable or not. Most are not. Recoverable spacecraft may be subdivided by method of reentry to Earth into non-winged space capsules and winged spaceplanes. Humanity has achieved space flight but only a few nations have the technology for orbital launches: Russia, the United States, the member states of the European Space Agency, China, Taiwan (National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan National Space Organization, Israel and North Korea. A German V-2 became the first spacecraft when it reached an altitude of 189 km in June 1944 in Peenemünde, Germany. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite, it was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. The launch ushered in new political, military and scientific developments. Apart from its value as a technological first, Sputnik 1 helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer's density, through measuring the satellite's orbital changes.
It provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere. Pressurized nitrogen in the satellite's false body provided the first opportunity for meteoroid detection. Sputnik 1 was launched during the International Geophysical Year from Site No.1/5, at the 5th Tyuratam range, in Kazakh SSR. The satellite travelled at 29,000 kilometers per hour, taking 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz While Sputnik 1 was the first spacecraft to orbit the Earth, other man-made objects had reached an altitude of 100 km, the height required by the international organization Fédération Aéronautique Internationale to count as a spaceflight. This altitude is called the Kármán line. In particular, in the 1940s there were several test launches of the V-2 rocket, some of which reached altitudes well over 100 km; as of 2016, only three nations have flown crewed spacecraft: USSR/Russia, USA, China. The first crewed spacecraft was Vostok 1, which carried Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space in 1961, completed a full Earth orbit.
There were five other crewed missions. The second crewed spacecraft was named Freedom 7, it performed a sub-orbital spaceflight in 1961 carrying American astronaut Alan Shepard to an altitude of just over 187 kilometers. There were five other crewed missions using Mercury spacecraft. Other Soviet crewed spacecraft include the Voskhod, flown uncrewed as Zond/L1, L3, TKS, the Salyut and Mir crewed space stations. Other American crewed spacecraft include the Gemini spacecraft, Apollo spacecraft, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle with undetached European Spacelab and private US Spacehab space stations-modules. China developed, but did not fly Shuguang, is using Shenzhou. Except for the Space Shuttle, all of the recoverable crewed orbital spacecraft were space capsules. Crewed space capsules The International Space Station, crewed since November 2000, is a joint venture between Russia, the United States and several other countries; some reusable vehicles have been designed only for crewed spaceflight, these are called spaceplanes.
The first example of such was the North American X-15 spaceplane, which conducted two crewed flights which reached an altitude of over 100 km in the 1960s. The first reusable spacecraft, the X-15, was air-launched on a suborbital trajectory on July 19, 1963; the first reusable orbital spacecraft, a winged non-capsule, the Space Shuttle, was launched by the USA on the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight, on April 12, 1981. During the Shuttle era, six orbiters were built, all of which have flown in the atmosphere and five of which have flown in space. Enterprise was used only for approach and landing tests, launching from the back of a Boeing 747 SCA and gliding to deadstick landings at Edwards AFB, California; the first Space Shuttle to fly into space was Columbia, followed by Challenger, Discovery and Endeavour. Endeavour was built to replace Challenger when it was lost in January 1986. Columbia broke up during reentry in February 2003; the first automatic reusable spacecraft was the Buran-class shuttle, launched by the USSR on November 15, 1988, although it made only one flight and this was uncrewed.
This spaceplane was designed for a crew and resembled the U
University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, United States. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the Union in 1876. In 2015, the university comprised nine colleges and schools and offered over 150 academic programs and enrolled 17,000 students. Twelve Nobel Laureates, nine MacArthur Fellows, 20 astronauts have been affiliated with CU Boulder as students, researchers, or faculty members in its history; the university received nearly $454 million in sponsored research in 2010 to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, JILA. The Colorado Buffaloes compete in 17 varsity sports and are members of the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference; the Buffaloes have won 28 national championships: 20 in skiing, seven total in men's and women's cross country, one in football. 900 students participate in 34 intercollegiate club sports annually as well. On March 14, 1876, the Colorado territorial legislature passed an amendment to the state constitution that provided money for the establishment of the University of Colorado in Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, the Colorado Agricultural College in Fort Collins.
Two cities competed for the site of the University of Colorado: Cañon City. The consolation prize for the losing city was to be home of the new Colorado State Prison. Cañon City was at a disadvantage as it was the home of the Colorado Territorial Prison; the cornerstone of the building that became Old Main was laid on September 20, 1875. The doors of the university opened on September 5, 1877. At the time, there were few high schools in the state that could adequately prepare students for university work, so in addition to the University, a preparatory school was formed on campus. In the fall of 1877, the student body consisted of 15 students in the college proper and 50 students in the preparatory school. There were 38 men and 27 women, their ages ranged from 12–23 years. During World War II, Colorado was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a navy commission; the main CU Boulder campus is located south of the Pearl Street Mall and east of Chautauqua Auditorium.
It consists of residential buildings as well as research facilities. The East Campus is about a quarter mile from the main campus and is composed of athletic fields and research buildings. CU Boulder's distinctive architecture style, known as Tuscan Vernacular Revival, was designed by architect Charles Klauder; the oldest buildings, such as Old Main and Macky Auditorium, were in the Collegiate Gothic style of many East Coast schools, Klauder's initial plans for the university's new buildings were in the same style. A month or so after approval, Klauder updated his design by sketching in a new wrap of rough, textured sandstone walls with sloping, multi-leveled red-tiled roofs and Indiana limestone trim; this formed the basis of a unified style, used in the design of fifteen other buildings between 1921 and 1939 and still followed on the campus to this day. The sandstone used in the construction of nearly all the buildings on campus was selected from a variety of Front Range mountain quarries.
In 2011, Travel+Leisure named the Boulder campus one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. Freshmen and others attending the University of Colorado Boulder have an option of 24 on- and off-campus residence halls. Residence halls have 17 varieties of room types from singles to four-person rooms and others with apartment style amenities. There are several communities of residence halls located throughout the campus, as well as in a separate area called Williams Village, located 1.5 miles off of main campus. There is a free bus service that transports students to main campus from Williams Village and vice versa; the University offers Residential Academic Programs in many of its Residence Halls. RAPs provide students with in-dorm classes tailored to academic interests; the Engineering Center on the North-East side of campus houses the nation's largest geotechnical centrifuge as well as ion-implantation and microwave-propagation facilities, spectrometers and other microscopes, a structural analysis facility.
Until 1903, the library collection was housed with the rest of the school in Old Main. The growing size of the library required a move, as the weight of the books was causing physical damage to the floor; the cornerstone for the first separate library building was laid in January 1903, the building was opened in January 1904. When the new Norlin Library opened in 1940, the old library turned over to the Theatre department, was converted into classrooms and a theatre. Norlin Library was the last building to be designed by Klauder. There are two inscriptions on the western face of the building. Both were composed by President Norlin; the larger inscription reads "Who knows only his own generation remains always a child," based on a Cicero quotation, while the smaller inscription on the marble just over the door reads "Enter here the timeless fellowship of the human spirit." Macky Auditorium is a large building on the north edge of the University of Colorado campus, near 17th Street and University Avenue, which plays host to various talks and musical performances.
Andrew J. Macky was a prominent businessman involved with the town of Boulder in the late 19th century. Macky
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe, launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects in the decade to follow, which as of 2019 includes 2014 MU69, it is the fifth space probe to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System. On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by an Atlas V rocket directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory with a speed of about 16.26 km/s. It was the fastest man-made object launched from Earth. After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007, at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers.
The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist. Most of the post-Jupiter voyage was spent in hibernation mode to preserve on-board systems, except for brief annual checkouts. On December 6, 2014, New Horizons was brought back online for the Pluto encounter, instrument check-out began. On January 15, 2015, the spacecraft began its approach phase to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, at 11:49 UTC, it flew 12,500 km above the surface of Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. On October 25, 2016, at 21:48 UTC, the last of the recorded data from the Pluto flyby was received from New Horizons. Having completed its flyby of Pluto, New Horizons maneuvered for a flyby of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69 "Ultima Thule", which occurred on January 1, 2019, when it was 43.4 AU from the Sun. In August 2018, NASA cited results by Alice on New Horizons to confirm the existence of a "hydrogen wall" at the outer edges of the Solar System; this "wall" was first detected in 1992 by the two Voyager spacecraft.
In August 1992, JPL scientist Robert Staehle called Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, requesting permission to visit his planet. "I told him he was welcome to it," Tombaugh remembered, "though he's got to go one long, cold trip." The call led to a series of proposed Pluto missions, leading up to New Horizons. Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis, head of the Applied Physics Laboratory's space division, one of many entrants in the New Frontiers Program competition, formed the New Horizons team with Alan Stern in December 2000. Appointed as the project's principal investigator, Stern was described by Krimigis as "the personification of the Pluto mission". New Horizons was based on Stern's work since Pluto 350 and involved most of the team from Pluto Kuiper Express; the New Horizons proposal was one of five that were submitted to NASA. It was selected as one of two finalists to be subject to a three-month concept study, in June 2001; the other finalist, POSSE, was a separate, but similar Pluto mission concept by the University of Colorado Boulder, led by principal investigator Larry W. Esposito, supported by the JPL, Lockheed Martin and the University of California.
However, the APL, in addition to being supported by Pluto Kuiper Express developers at the Goddard Space Flight Center and Stanford University, were at an advantage. In November 2001, New Horizons was selected for funding as part of the New Frontiers program. However, the new NASA Administrator appointed by the Bush Administration, Sean O'Keefe, was not supportive of New Horizons, cancelled it by not including it in NASA's budget for 2003. NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Ed Weiler prompted Stern to lobby for the funding of New Horizons in hopes of the mission appearing in the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. After an intense campaign to gain support for New Horizons, the Planetary Science Decadal Survey of 2003–2013 was published in the summer of 2002. New Horizons topped the list of projects considered the highest priority among the scientific community in the medium-size category. Weiler stated that it was a result that " administration was not going to fight".
Funding for the mission was secured following the publication of the report, Stern's team were able to start building the spacecraft and its instruments, with a planned launch in January 2006 and arrival at Pluto in 2015. Alice Bowman became Mission Operations Manager. New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers mission category and more expensive than the Discovery missions but smaller than the Flagship Program; the cost of the mission is $700 million over 15 years. The spacecraft was built by Southwest Research Institute and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; the mission's principal investigator is Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute. After separation from the launch vehicle, ov