Today's planned launch of an Atlas V carrying NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has been delayed for at least one more day. The Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, which operates the spacecraft and is managing the mission, experienced a power outage early this morning that has not yet been resolved. Launch is now set for Thursday, Jan. 19, during a window extending from 1:08 p.m. - 3:07 p.m. EST.
As the first spacecraft to visit Pluto and its moon Charon, New Horizons looks to unlock one of the solar system's last, great planetary secrets. After launch aboard an Atlas V, the New Horizons spacecraft will cross the entire span of the solar system and conduct flyby studies of Pluto and its moon, Charon, in 2015. The seven science instruments on the piano-sized probe will shed light on the bodies' surface properties, geology, interior makeup and atmospheres.