It is now the third week in my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black.
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The 23-second thruster burst was the third and final planned targeting maneuver of New Horizons’ approach phase to Pluto; it was also the smallest of the nine course corrections since New Horizons launched in January 2006. It bumped the spacecraft’s velocity by just 27 centimeters per second – about one-half mile per hour – slightly adjusting its arrival time and position at a flyby close-approach target point approximately 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers) above Pluto’s surface.
The image, which I have cropped to focus on the planets, is still somewhat fuzzy, though it also shows the increasing sharpness as the spacecraft gets closer.
Only two weeks to go!