NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
New Horizon's spacecraft (centre) and its Atlas V rocket payload fairing (left and right). New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006 and will take 9 years to reach Pluto, arriving in July 2015. Pluto, some 6 billion kilometres from the Sun, has never before been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. 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 spend 15 months studying Pluto before travelling beyond it to study other objects in the Kuiper Belt. Photographed at Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, Florida, USA, in 2005.
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