What's Happening in Space Policy July 13-18, 2015

What's Happening in Space Policy July 13-18, 2015

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of July 13-18, 2015 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

This is Pluto week.  While there are other interesting events that will take place, the arrival of NASA’s New Horizons mission at Pluto after a 9 1/2 year journey certainly will steal the headlines.

Pluto and New Horizons are about 3 billion miles (4.9 billion kilometers) from Earth, so the two-way signal travel time is about 9 hours.   New Horizons will make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14 at 7:49:47 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), but the signal confirming that the encounter took place as planned will not arrive until evening.   NASA has a series of media events about the mission planned for the next several days that will be broadcast on NASA TV (NASA cautions that all times are subject to change; check the NASA TV schedule or the NASA New Horizons website).

  • Monday, July 13:  Media briefing, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT
  • Tuesday, July 14 — day of closest encounter: 
    • Arrival at Pluto countdown, 7:30 – 8:00 am EDT
    • Media briefing, 8:00 – 9:00 am EDT
    • NASA TV Program “Phone Home” broadcast from mission control
      at APL, 8:30 – 9:15 pm EDT (signal should be received at 9:02 pm EDT)
    • Mission Briefing, 9:30 – 10:00 pm EDT
  • Wednesday, July 15: Media Briefing “Seeing Pluto in a New Light,” 3:00-4:00 pm EDT

Fascinating photos already are being sent back.  Mission control is at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, MD (APL built the spacecraft) and its website has a treasure trove of images and other information.

That and other events we know about as of Saturday morning are listed below.

Monday, July 13

Tuesday, July 14

Wednesday, July 15

Thursday, July 16

Thursday-Saturday, July 16-18




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