- Launched on January 19, 2006
- Performed gravity assist flyby of Jupiter in 2007
- Spacecraft en route to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, passing Pluto in 2015
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Goals: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is designed to make the first close-up study of Pluto and its moons and other icy worlds in the distant Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft has seven scientific instruments to study the atmospheres, surfaces, interiors and intriguing environments of Pluto and its distant neighbors.
Accomplishments: The spacecraft is still en route to its primary science target, but it completed a thrilling study of the Jupiter system during its gravity assist flyby of the giant planet in 2007. The spacecraft took pictures of the planet and its moons, and detected clumps in Jupiter's rings and lightning near its poles. As it departed Jupiter, New Horizons observed a unique space environment, traveling a long distance down the tadpole-shaped tail of Jupiter's magnetic field.
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Images from New Horizons >