- 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 July 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 closing in on its primary science target, and started a long-distance observation campaign of the Pluto system in January 2015. On the way to Pluto, New Horizons 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 >