New Horizons and the Exploration of Pluto

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The fastest spacecraft ever launched, NASA’s New Horizons left Earth on January 19, 2006, headed for Pluto and the Kuiper Belt at 36,373 mph. Hurling three billion miles from Earth, New Horizons completed the first exploration of the Pluto system, culminating in last summer’s highly successful flyby inside the orbits of all five of Pluto’s moons. New Horizons Mission Leader Alan Stern describes the history of the mission, the encounter with planet Pluto, the major scientific discoveries made to date, and the public’s reaction to the awe-inspiring visuals captured during the flyby.

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