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New Horizons Flyby

The New Horizons mission—designed, built, operated, and managed by Johns Hopkins APL for NASA—will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of the planet Pluto and by venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt, a relic of solar system formation.

New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006; it swung past Jupiter for a gravity boost and scientific studies in February 2007, and is now conducting a five-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons. The spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto is scheduled for July 14, 2015.

As part of an extended mission, the spacecraft is expected to head farther into the Kuiper Belt to examine one or two of the ancient, icy mini-worlds in that vast region, at least a billion miles beyond Neptune’s orbit. This long journey will help us answer basic questions about the surface properties, geology, interior makeup, and atmospheres on these bodies.

Spacecraft Systems and Components

New Horizons News

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Latest Views of Pluto

These are the most recent high-resolution views of Pluto sent by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, including one showing the four mysterious dark spots on Pluto that have captured the imagination of the world.

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NASA's New Horizons on Track for Pluto Flyby

Science Operations to Resume for On Time Encounter

The recovery from a July 4 anomaly that sent the New Horizons spacecraft into safe mode is proceeding according to plan, with the mission team preparing to return to normal science operations on time on July 7.

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New Horizons 'Speeds Up' on Final Approach to Pluto

With just two weeks to go before its historic July 14 flight past Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft tapped the accelerator late last night and tweaked its path toward the Pluto system.