New Horizons space probe.

New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program.[1] Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a team led by Alan Stern,[2] the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a planetary flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow.[3][4][5][6][7] It is the fifth of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity that will allow them to leave the Solar System.

On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by the Atlas V rocket directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory with a speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph). After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007, at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons scientific capabilities, returning data about Jupiter's atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.


  1. Chang, Kenneth (July 18, 2015). "The Long, Strange Trip to Pluto, and How NASA Nearly Missed It". New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  2. Alan Stern: principal investigator for New Horizons. August 31, 2015. 
  3. "New Horizons to Pluto, Mission Website". US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  4. Chang, Kenneth (July 13, 2015). "A Close-Up for Pluto After Spacecraft's 3-Billion-MileTrip". New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  5. Chang, Kenneth (July 6, 2015). "Almost Time for Pluto's Close-Up". New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  6. Overbye, Dennis (July 6, 2015). "Reaching Pluto, and the End of an Era of Planetary Exploration". New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  7. Roston, Michael (August 28, 2015). "NASA's Next Horizon in Space". New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2015.