Image Credit: NASA/John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) assisted NASA in successfully navigating the New Horizons space probe across its 3-billion-mile journey to Pluto.
During its nine-year mission to the edge of the solar system, New Horizons was guided from launch to destination by Honeywell’s navigation technologies, including two miniature inertial measurement units. These space-proven, reliable, low-cost units provide critical altitude and acceleration data to determine precise positioning and assist in midcourse corrections along the space probe’s path to Pluto and beyond. By reaching Pluto, NASA has successfully completed its initial survey of the solar system with the support of Honeywell.
New Horizons’ journey to Pluto marks the 11th deep-space mission for Honeywell’s miniature inertial measurement unit (MIMU). In addition to the MIMUs, Honeywell also provided the fault-tolerant inertial navigation and redundant rate gyro units for the space probe’s launch vehicle. The combined success of these technologies has contributed to Honeywell’s space heritage, which includes deep-space missions to the sun, moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and now Pluto. With a broad offering of inertial navigation technologies, Honeywell has supplied more than 100,000 systems across space, military and civil applications to date.