New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto

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Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto, artwork. New Horizons launched from Earth on 19 January 2006 and will take 9 years to reach Pluto, arriving mid-2015. It will spend 15 months studying the solar system's most distant planet. Pluto (lower right), some 6 billion kilometres from the Sun (upper right), has never before been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. It is a small rocky, icy world with a thin atmosphere and a moon called Charon (upper right). The spacecraft will use cameras and scientific equipment to gather data, sending it back to Earth with the large (2.1- metre) dish antenna (yellow). New Horizons will also travel beyond Pluto to study other objects in the Kuiper Belt.

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