AstroGrav iconAstroGrav Help /Sample Simulations /Solar System /Spacecraft /New Horizons JourneyVersion 5.1

New Horizons Journey

This simulation shows the path followed by the New Horizons spacecraft between its departure from the Earth and its flyby of Pluto.

New Horizons was launched on 19th January 2006 and then received a gravity assist from the planet Jupiter on 28th February 2007, which accelerated it and changed its orbit in preparation for the encounter with Pluto on 14th July 2015.

The starting date for the simulation is 22nd January 2006 - shortly after the launch of New Horizons. If you run the simulation forward, you can watch the encounter with Jupiter, followed by the encounter with Pluto. You can see how the path (orbit) followed by the spacecraft is changed by the encounter with Jupiter, to set it on course for the encounter with Pluto several years later.

Since different computers run at different speeds, you may need to edit the evolution time step to get the simulation to run at an acceptable rate.

You can find out more about New Horizons from the following website:

Valid HTML 4.01!Valid CSS!