October 31, 2011

On the path to Pluto: APL creates New Horizons app

The team behind the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt has launched a free app that takes iPhone and iPad users along on this historic voyage to the planetary frontier. Now available in the iTunes App Store, New Horizons: A NASA Voyage to Pluto brings users the latest news and pictures from the mission, as well as details on the spacecraft and scientific instruments, and offers access to educational activities.

Produced by programmers at APL—which built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft and manages the mission for NASA—the app includes reports from the New Horizons news center and Twitter feed, images taken by New Horizons from space, videos that tell the New Horizons story and a “tour” of the spacecraft.

It also offers a locator for following the spacecraft along its path toward Pluto, and a countdown clock to check how much time remains—down to the second—before it sails past the dwarf planet on July 14, 2015. Another tool connects users to the “Ice Hunters” program to find potential New Horizons flyby targets in the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto.

To download the app, go to itunes.com/apps/newhorizonsanasavoyagetopluto.