I imagine New Horizons data from its encounter with Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) has started arriving.

Does anyone know if this data is public?

And, if so, how you can access it?


The raw images1 from LORRI (high resolution greyscale) are available from JHU APL but the rest of the data such MVIC (wide angle in greyscale plus four color bands: near IR, methane, red, and blue), LEISA (infrared spectroscopic imagery), Alice (ultraviolet spectroscopic imagery), as well as other instruments seems not to be available yet.

Some processed imagery is also available elsewhere on APL's site.

Eventually all the data will be released via the NASA PDS2 but this may take some time since it first has to be transmitted to Earth (this will take 20 months) then processed and calibrated (several more months) or (for some images) converted to a public-friendly JPEG. Once this is done the data will be released since, per this document (p. 15), the New Horizons data is not subject to embargo by the research teams:

There are no proprietary data rights for the New Horizons mission. Selected uncalibrated (CODMAC Level 2) data, particularly image data, will be publicly released by the New Horizons project over the Internet in close to real time. ... Fully reduced, calibrated and corrected data products .. will be [released as it becomes available].

Quoting further (from Appendix D):

  • Selected uncalibrated data, including image data, will be publicly released over the INTERNET in close to real time.
  • Fully reduced, calibrated and corrected data products will be published and forwarded to the Planetary Data System as soon as they have been generated and validated.

I've asked a question on Space.SE regarding whether there are currently any archives of raw(ish) New Horizons/Ultima Thule imagery besides the one linked above.

1 Converted to JPEG files.

2 Thanks to @astrosnapper for that link.

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