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New Horizons
New Horizons

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: On 14 July 2015 at 11:49:58 UTC (7:49:58 EDT), New Horizons became the first spacecraft to explore Pluto up close. The successful flyby yielded science results that will be beamed back to Earth over the next 16 months. The mission has potential additional Kuiper Belt targets to possibly explore in the coming years.

Pluto Flyby Toolkit

Key Dates
19 Jan 2006:  Launch
28 Feb 2007:  Jupiter Flyby
Jul 2015:  Pluto Closest Approach
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).
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Hal Levison Hal Levison
"Being interested in the science is not enough. You have to enjoy the nuts and bolts of science; otherwise you won't enjoy going to work every day." Read More...

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