Thursday, January 19, 2017
New Horizons launched toward Pluto 2006
The New Horizons spacecraft, launched January 19, 2006, performed the first flyby of Pluto, exceeding everyone's expectations. New Horizons reached Pluto (now 'dwarf planet') in July 2015 and sent back gigabytes of data which NASA scientists will be studying for years.
New Horizons took pictures of Pluto's surface as well as its moons, giving us a much better understanding of Charon.
Buoyed on the success of the mission, the New Horizons team requested and has been granted an extension. New Horizons is headed toward 2014 MU69, a large body in the Kuiper Belt, arriving in 2019. It will study other trans-Neptunian objects as well.