07 Sep 2015

NASA Begins Downloading Data From New Horizons @ 1.4 Kbps

It's been about seven weeks since NASA's New Horizons did the historic flyby of Pluto on July 14th. It surely did collect lot of data including stunning photos, spectra and recordings of the on-board sensors, totalling several tens of GBs. About 95% of the data is still stored on New Horizon's on-board computers and NASA engineers want access to it. It's no brainer that this data will help enhance our knowledge of Pluto and Universe as well.

On September 5th, NASA began an year long process of downloading data from New Horizons which is about 3 billion miles away from Earth. The radio signals, even though moving at the speed of light, take about 4.5 hours to reach NASA's receivers on Earth.

New-Horizons-Download-Data
Image Credit: NASA​

NASA's Deep Space Network - an array of antennas located at various locations around the world will receive the signals from New Horizons. The typical downlink rate is estimated to be about 1.4 Kbps. This speed is very slow compared to the modern connection speeds on the Earth and it's will test the patience of the NASA engineers; but the officials are positive that the wait is going to be worth it.

Expect lot of interesting information from NASA in coming days as the New Horizons sends data back to Earth. We, at CrazyEngineers, will keep you up to date.

Source: NASA

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