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Pluto mission passes design review
Posted: Tue, Nov 5, 2002, 10:28 AM ET (1528 GMT)
New Horizons illustration (JHUAPL) NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto has passed its preliminary design review (PDR), project officials announced Monday. The PDR, held October 22-24 at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), concluded that the basic design of the spacecraft is good, allowing the project to proceed with more detailed design work. New Horizons project manager Thomas Coughlin said that the mission was "on schedule and well within budget." The spacecraft is scheduled for launch as early as January 2006, with other launch opportunities in February 2006 and February 2007; the first launch opportunity would allow for a Jupiter flyby in 2007. NASA will select an EELV-class launch vehicle for New Horizons — either an Atlas 5 or Delta 4 — early next year. Depending on the launch vehicle and launch date, New Horizons could each Pluto as early as 2015.
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