National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
New Horizons
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search for Missions Containing:      Search
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
New Horizons
New Horizons Mission to Jupiter New Horizons Mission to Dwarf Planets New Horizons Mission to Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud

Goals: New Horizons used Jupiter for a gravity assist to speed its journey to the outer solar system. The flyby also provided scientists a chance to check out the spacecraft's instruments.

Accomplishments: The powerful slingshot-like gravity assist trimmed three years off the spacecraft's journey to Pluto and beyond. During the Jupiter flyby, New Horizons observed lightning near the gas giant's poles, the creation of fresh ammonia clouds, and boulder-size clumps speeding through Jupiter's faint rings. The spacecraft also collected data on volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io, and the path of charged particles moving back and forth across the -- previously unexplored -- length of Jupiter's long magnetic tail. New Horizons also collected information that supports the theory that Jupiter's moon Europa has an ocean of liquid water underneath its icy crust.

   

Key Dates
19 Jan 2006:  Launch
28 Feb 2007:  Jupiter Flyby
Jul 2015:  Pluto Closest Approach
2026:  End of Dwarf Planets Mission
Status: In Flight
Fast Facts
New Horizons Facts New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

After traveling some 5 billion kilometers (3 billion miles), New Horizons must thread a celestial needle and fly through a circle only 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) in diameter to accomplish its science objectives.

New Horizons carries the first instrument to be designed, built and flown by students on an interplanetary spacecraft -- Venetia, a dust counter named for the girl who named Pluto (above).
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
T. Adrian Hill T. Adrian Hill
T. Adrian Hill is working on spacecraft traveling to both ends of the solar system. He's a college football ref, too. Read More...
Headlines
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 18 Apr 2012