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Artwork of a Pluto Kuiper Express spacecraft

Artwork of a Pluto Kuiper Express spacecraft

R250/0113

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pluto Kuiper Express. Artwork of a proposed Pluto Kuiper Express spacecraft near the planet Pluto (lower frame) & its moon Charon (upper left). The Pluto Kuiper Express mission will consist of two spacecraft, each carrying instruments to monitor the planet at visible, ultraviolet, infrared and radio wavelengths. The spacecraft will examine Pluto, Charon, and any icy minor planets that lie beyond them in an area known as the Kuiper Belt. The data acquired about these isolated bodies may provide evidence about the formation of our solar system. The Pluto Kuiper Express spacecraft are expected to be launched about six months apart in 2003, arriving at Pluto ten years later.

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