New Horizons has previously been brought out of its deep sleep 18 times since its launch atop an Atlas V rocket in January 2006. The probe has spent two-thirds of its time in space hibernating to "save wear and tear on spacecraft components and reduce the risk of system failures," according to NASA.
“Technically, this was routine, since the wake-up was a procedure that we’d done many times before,” said Glen Fountain, New Horizons project manager, according to NASA. “Symbolically, however, this is a big deal. It means the start of our pre-encounter operations.”