Here's what New Horizons may look like when it flies past Pluto in 2015. Can you spot Pluto's large moon, Charon, in the background? Can you see the Sun, which is very far away?
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.
New Horizons Mission to Pluto
A spacecraft is going to Pluto! The name of
the spacecraft is New Horizons. New Horizons will be the first spacecraft
go to Pluto!
Pluto is very, very far away. It will take New Horizons nine years to get to
Pluto! New Horizons blasted off in January 2006. But it won't get to Pluto until
The spacecraft will do a "gravity slingshot" move when it passes
Jupiter. That will make the spacecraft go
really fast. It will go 47,000 miles per hour (about 21 kilometers per second)
for a while.
When New Horizons gets to Pluto it will study the frozen world. It will also
study Pluto's big moon Charon. It
will take pictures. It will send back readings from its instruments. Those will
tell us about Pluto's atmosphere and magnetic field.
New Horizons won't stop after it passes Pluto. It will also study at least
one Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). KBOs are
giant iceballs that are sort of mini-planets.
Most KBOs are even farther away than Pluto!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
You might think that space out near Pluto is pretty empty and lonely. Guess what, it isn't! There are thousands and thousands of giant balls of ice and rock out there. Those giant balls are called Kuiper...more
The New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to Pluto. Along the way, it flew past the giant planet Jupiter. When the spacecraft flew by Jupiter, Jupiter's strong gravity gave New Horizons a "slingshot...more
Satellites and robot spacecraft are important to space exploration. They let us explore space safely. Click on the link below to learn more about these missions. Canada's first space telescope, MOST, was...more
Io is a large moon of Jupiter. Jupiter has four large moons. Io is the closest of the four to Jupiter. Io has hundreds of volcanoes. It has more active volcanoes than any place else in our Solar System....more
A spacecraft is going to Pluto! The name of the spacecraft is New Horizons. New Horizons will be the first spacecraft ever to go to Pluto! Pluto is very, very far away. It will take New Horizons nine years...more
Have you ever wondered what you are made of? Where did the elements come from that make up your body? The elements that make up your body are the same elements found on the Earth. Where did those Earth...more
The ACE spacecraft consists of a two-deck irregular octagon, about 1.6 meters (65 inches) across and about 1 meter (40 inches) high. Eight of the scientific instruments which measure a variety of particle...more
Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harold Schmitt were the last humans to walk on the Moon, in the final mission of the Apollo space program. Together with Ronald Evans, they lifted off on Dec. 7, 1972 aboard...more