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Media Briefings, Online Coverage of Ultima Thule Flyby

Press Release From: Johns Hopkins University APL New Horizons Mission
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is on track to perform the farthest flyby in history, when it zips past a Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule -- more than four billion miles from Earth -- at 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1.

Flyby activities are taking place at the home of New Horizons operations, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. A schedule of events, set for broadcast and streaming on NASA TV and social media channels, is below.

Media wishing to participate in press briefings remotely can contact Paulette Campbell at +1 240-228-6792, paulette.campbell@jhuapl.edu, for dial-in access.

Times are EST and subject to change, according to mission timelines and activities. Check http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Where-to-Watch.php for updates and additions.

Monday, Dec. 31, 2018
2-3 pm
Press briefing: Ultima Thule flyby science and operations preview. Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Helene Winters, New Horizons project manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; John Spencer, New Horizons deputy project scientist, Southwest Research Institute; Frederic Pelletier, navigation team lead, KinetX, Inc.

3-4 pm
Q&A: Ask the New Horizons Team. Questions from social media (#askNewHorizons) answered by Alex Parker, New Horizons co-investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Kelsi Singer, co-investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Gabe Rogers, New Horizons deputy mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

8-11 pm
Panel discussion on exploration of small worlds (8-9 pm); mission and science updates; Ultima Thule flyby countdown events

Tuesday, January 1, 2019
12:02 am
Global song release: Brian May, New Horizons contributing scientist and Queen guitarist, “New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix)”

12:15-12:45 am
Live coverage of countdown to closest approach (12:33 am); real-time flyby simulations

10:15-10:45 am
Live coverage of New Horizons signal-acquisition activities in the Mission Operations Center, confirming spacecraft status and flyby success

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Press briefing: Spacecraft status, latest images and data download schedule. Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Alice Bowman, New Horizons mission operations manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Chris Hersman, New Horizons mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
2-3 pm
Press briefing: Science results from Ultima Thule. Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Jeff Moore, New Horizons co-investigator, NASA Ames Research Center; Cathy Olkin, New Horizons deputy project scientist, Southwest Research Institute; Will Grundy, New Horizons co-investigator, Lowell Observatory.

Thursday, January 3, 2019
2-3 pm
Press briefing: Science results from Ultima Thule. Panelists TBD.

Contacts:
Michael Buckley
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
+1 240-228-7536
michael.buckley@jhuapl.edu

Maria Stothoff
Southwest Research Institute
+1 210-522-3305
maria.stothoff@swri.org

Follow the New Horizons mission on social media and use the hashtags #ultimathule, #ultimaflyby and #askNewHorizons to join the conversation. Live updates will be available on NASA and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory websites and social media channels. For a complete list of programming and outlets: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Where-to-Watch.php

More information on the New Horizons mission:
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu
http://www.nasa.gov

Media may also call the New Horizons News Room at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3) at +1 240-592-2517 or +1 240-592-2522.

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