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.


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