New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto, artwork. New Horizons launched from Earth on 19 January 2006 and will arrive at Pluto in July 2015. It will spend 15 months studying this dwarf planet. Pluto (centre), some 6 billion kilometres from the Sun, 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 (left). The spacecraft will use cameras and scientific equipment to gather data, sending it back to Earth with the large (2.1-metre) dish antenna. New Horizons will also travel beyond Pluto to study other objects in the Kuiper Belt.
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