New Horizons spacecraft's path to Pluto

New Horizons spacecraft's path to Pluto

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: New Horizons spacecraft's path to Pluto, computer artwork. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft launched from Earth (left) on 19th January 2006 to undertake a 9-and-a-half year voyage to Pluto (seen with its moon Charon, right). Just over a year after launch, on 28th February 2007, the spacecraft flew past Jupiter (second left), using the planet's gravity to increase speed and change trajectory towards Pluto. This slingshot gravity boost has saved up to three years of flight time. The spacecraft is now on its 8 year journey to Pluto, expected to arrive there in July 2015.

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