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New Horizons launch

New Horizons launch

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Credit

SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Photographers and spectators watch NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, trailing fire and smoke from the Atlas V rocket that propelled it, as it roared into the cloud-scattered sky. Liftoff, on 1/19/06 was on time at 2 p.m. EST from Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This was the third launch attempt in as many days after scrubs due to weather concerns. After its launch aboard the Atlas V, the compact, 1,050-pound piano-sized probe got a boost from a kick-stage solid propellant motor for its journey to Pluto. New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft ever launched, reaching lunar orbit distance in just nine hours. It passed Jupiter 13 months later.

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