Is gonna be about four billion miles from Earth it takes us six hours and eight minutes to get a command sent from Earth to the spacecraft it takes over.
Six minutes for the signal to leave osiris-rex and reach earth traveling at the speed of light what we do is we load commands to memory and they execute out of spacecraft memory as the onboard clock ticks down to get to bed news doorstep we need to use a technique called obstacle navigation where we command the spacecraft to take pictures and those pictures give us information.
About where the spacecraft was at relative to venue when they were taken and we use that to determine the course that we’re on and compare that to the course that.
We want to be on we do the maneuver to get us back on track and at Benny’s door so I didn’t have any preconceived notion of what we might see at Pluto.
Been simply amazing I mean Pluto has it all its volcanoes its ice fields its mountains its atmosphere its haze widow is just.
And Ultima Thule we may find out that it’s got the same sort of things going on what’s really groundbreaking about the navigation on osiris-rex is the size of venue venue is a smallest object.
To ever be orbited by a spacecraft because the gravity is so low we can effectively maneuver around the whole entire asteroid without using much fuel and it allows us to map the entire surface in a matter of two weeks I grew up in the 60s and was continually watching the Mercury Gemini Apollo astronauts on.
TV I really wanted to have an exciting life like those astronauts were having that I knew that I wanted to do something where I can make a difference and every day was different.
It was the Hubble Deep Field image that came out when I was in high school the one with the thousands of galaxies in one frame that really inspired me to be able to contribute.
In some way to expanding our knowledge of the universe science is an amazing field any any kind of science there’s always more to learn there’s always something more to discover what I love about navigation is it’s kind of where engineering and science are combined it’s really where you do the.
Hard engineering to achieve the science objectives of a mission Wow so how and also we’re we’re kind of 30 minutes is is way too short to talk about.
The school misses but you know what time limit really quick it’s got to be amazing that you guys the farthest planetary encounter ever is that right oh absolutely yeah the New Horizons spacecraft was the fastest.
Ever to leave the earth has been blazing a path through the solar system it’s moving about ten miles per second and this object Ultima Thule is roughly to only 20 miles across and so it’s white-knuckle time as we fly by try to cram as much as we possibly can squeeze as much science out as possible to look back 4.6 billion years at this primitive body and then we’re off continuing deeper into the Kuiper belt I was gonna ask you what happens.
To this place it just keeps going it keeps going we have some other planned observations of Kuiper belt objects but you know this is the highlight of the Kuiper extended mission for the new horizons and osiris-rex when it finishes that just what does the spacecraft do I know you’ve got returned the samples but what happens to the space right and as far.
As I know I do know what’s going what would happen if it would be unsafe to release the sampler if we had a problem it’ll just go in orbit around the Sun and so the spacecraft once it releases its sample back to us bringing it back home then then it will just continue on well thank you all for joining us how incredible Mellisa incredible double-header a lot of excitement bringing you to incredible missions going to small worlds and returning big discoveries new horizons osiris-rex all.
Information and updates and look out for that lot coming to would you www.gov/station in to hashtag ask NASA thanks for joining us good luck to both teams science never sleeps.