Humanity Says Hi To Pluto For The First Time

Humanity Says Hi To Pluto For The First Time

The New Horizons mission launched on January 19, 2006. It sent its piano-sized probe hurtling toward Jupiter, where the gas giant's gravity slingshotted the spacecraft at 82,000 kph (51,000 mph) in the direction of Pluto. After more than 3 billion miles, New Horizons reached its closest distance to Pluto on July 14, 2015. The journey had lasted 9 years, 5 months, and 25 days, and would reward Earth with the most detailed images of Pluto to date.

03:47

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The New Horizons probe is the size of a grand piano. (0:08)

  • 2

    Radio waves from New Horizons take about 4.5 hours to reach Earth, where scientists download the data at 1 kilobit per second. (1:54)

  • 3

    In 2019, New Horizons will fly past an icy Kuiper belt object and collect more data. (2:52)

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