New Horizons 2

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Examples of various Trans-Neptunian objects.

New Horizons 2 (also New Horizons II, NHII, or NH2) was a proposed mission to the trans-Neptunian objects by NASA. It was conceived as a planetary flyby mission in 2002.[1][2] In March 2005, the proposal was not selected for further development because of a shortage of plutonium-238 needed for the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG).[3] The New Horizons 2 study was funded out of the New Horizons program, and was delivered to the U.S. Congress in June 2005.[4]


New Horizons 2 was included in the tentative budget for the New Horizons missions.[5] In 2004 the United States Senate Appropriations Committee provided additional funding for New Horizons 2, a new Kuiper belt mission.[6] As early as 2004 there was a conference on how to make the most use of New Horizons 2's Uranus flyby.[7]

Candidate targets included 1999 TC36, a system that, like Pluto–Charon, contains multiple bodies.[5] The mission plan for 1999 TC36 also included flybys of Jupiter and Uranus,[5] and perhaps four Kuiper belt objects (KBO).[8] There was a lot of flexibility: even without a gravity assist any KBO within 50 AU and a 20-year flight time was possible.[9] A flyby of Neptune's Triton was also considered, with 66652 Borasisi as a potential follow on.[9] 2002 UX25 was also considered to be visited, having a similar flight plan as 1999 TC36.[10]

See also[edit]

  • Mars 2020 rover (the only planned future US mission with nuclear power, an RTG)


  1. ^ Portree, David (22 May 2012). "New Horizons II (2004-2005)". Wired. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Stern, Alan; Binzel, Rick; et al. "New Horizons 2" (PDF). Lunar and Planetary Institute. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  3. ^ New Horizons II Final Report - March 2005
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c Czysz, Paul A.; Bruno, Claudio (2009-03-20). Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems: Enabling Technologies for Space Exploration. Springer. p. 378. ISBN 9783540888147. 
  6. ^ Stern, Alan (October 5, 2004). "New Horizons For Planetary Exploration". Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ Afoot-- Cheaper, More Frequent Outer Planets Missions - New Horizons II Workshop
  8. ^ Stern, Alan; et al. "New Horizons 2" (pdf). NASA (Outer Planets Assessment Group). Retrieved 13 May 2012.  parent
  9. ^ a b Final Report of the New Horizons II Review Panel
  10. ^

External links[edit]