New Horizons

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• Launch date:  19  January 2006

• Agency: NASA

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New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006; it swung past Jupiter for a gravity boost and scientific studies in February 2007, and will conduct a five-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons during this summer, 2015. Pluto closest approach occurred on July 14, 2015. Icy mountains on Pluto and a new, crisp view of its largest moon, Charon, are among the several discoveries announced by the NASA’s New Horizons team after the spacecraft’s first ever Pluto flyby.

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.