New Horizons at Pluto
n animation of the New Horizons space probe at Pluto. At the start of the clip we see the spacecraft
heading towards us with Charon, Pluto's largest satellite, in the background. The craft then zooms
past and heads in the direction of Pluto.
New Horizons launched from Earth
on 19 January 2006 and will arrive at Pluto in July 2015. It will spend 15 months studying this
dwarf planet. Pluto, some 5 billion kilometres from the Sun, has never before been visited by a
spacecraft from Earth. It is a small rocky, icy world with a thin atmosphere and at least five known
satellites. The spacecraft will use cameras and scientific equipment to gather data, sending it back
to Earth with the large (2.1-metre) dish antenna.
New Horizons went beyond
Pluto to study another other object in the Kuiper Belt, the contact binary Arrokoth, previously
informally called Ultima Thule.
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