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Created 25-May-07
Modified 13-Sep-21
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After launch aboard a Lockheed-Martin Atlas 5 rocket, the New Horizons spacecraft set out on a journey to the edge of the solar system. Liftoff occurred Jan. 19, 2006 at 2:00:00 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. New Horizons is headed for a distant rendezvous with the mysterious planet Pluto almost a decade from now.

As the first spacecraft to visit Pluto and its moon Charon, New Horizons looks to unlock one of the solar system's last, great planetary secrets. The New Horizons spacecraft will cross the entire span of the solar system and conduct flyby studies of Pluto and Charon in 2015. The seven science instruments on the piano-sized probe will shed light on the bodies' surface properties, geology, interior makeup and atmospheres.

Mission Milestones:
February 2007 - Jupiter gravity assist
March 2007-June 2015 - Interplanetary cruise
July 2015 - Pluto-Charon encounter
2016-2020 - Kuiper Belt objects encounter
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