LAUREL, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide flyby coverage on NASA Television, the agency’s website and its social media accounts as the spacecraft closes in on Pluto in the coming days. The schedule for event coverage is subject to change, with daily updates posted online and in the New Horizons Media Center at APL.
Highlights of the current coverage schedule, all in Eastern time, include:
July 11 – 12
11:30 a.m. – Final approach to Pluto; live mission updates on NASA TV
Monday, July 13
11 a.m. to noon – Media briefing: Mission Status and What to Expect; live on NASA TV
Tuesday, July 14
7:30 to 8 a.m. – Arrival at Pluto Countdown Program; live on NASA TV
At approximately 7:49 a.m., New Horizons is scheduled to be as close as the spacecraft will get to Pluto, approximately 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) above the surface, after a journey of more than nine years and three billion miles. For much of the day, New Horizons will be out of communication with mission control as it gathers data about Pluto and its moons.
The moment of closest approach will be marked during the live NASA TV broadcast that includes a countdown and discussion of what’s expected next as New Horizons makes its way past Pluto and potentially dangerous debris.
8 to 9 a.m. – Media briefing, image release; live on NASA TV
8:30 to 9:15 p.m. – NASA TV program, Phone Home, broadcast from APL Mission Control
NASA TV will share the suspenseful moments of this historic event with the public and museums around the world. The New Horizons spacecraft will send a preprogrammed signal after the closest approach. The mission team on Earth should receive the signal by about 9:02 p.m. When New Horizons “phones home,” there will be a celebration of its successful flyby and the anticipation of data to come in the days and months ahead.
9:30 to 10 p.m. – Media Briefing: New Horizons Health and Mission Status; live on NASA TV
Wednesday, July 15
3 to 4 p.m. – Media Briefing: Seeing Pluto in a New Light; live on NASA TV
Release of close-up images of Pluto’s surface and moons, along with initial science team reactions.
New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and mysterious small objects orbiting beyond Neptune. This region also is known as the “third” zone of our solar system, beyond the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants.
APL designed, built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
For NASA TV schedules, satellite coordinates, and links to streaming video, visit:
The public can follow the path of the spacecraft in coming days in real time with a visualization of the actual trajectory data, using NASA’s online Eyes on Pluto.
For more information on the New Horizons mission, including fact sheets, schedules, video and images, visit: