Attaching the Antenna

Explanation: Team members at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD, attach the high-gain antenna assembly to the New Horizons spacecraft on April 13, 2005. The spacecraft's most prominent design feature, the assembly includes high-, medium-, and low-gain antennas. The high-gain antenna consists of a 2.1-meter (nearly 7-foot) reflector dish mounted close to the spacecraft and a subreflector on the back side of the medium-gain reflector. The antenna is also a key component of the mission's Radio Science Experiment - called REX - which will help scientists understand the structure of Pluto's atmosphere by looking at how radio signals change as they are sent from Earth and move through Pluto's atmosphere.

Pluto

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.