New Horizons Spacecraft

Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on Jan. 19, 2006 and made its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. It used a gravity boost from Jupiter in February 2007 to assist in the nine year journey to Pluto. It will continue to send data as it journeys further into the Kuiper Belt.

The New Horizons spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida aboard and Atlas V rocket.

New Horizons Instruments
RalphVisible and infrared imager/spectrometer; provides color, composition and thermal maps
AliceUltraviolet imaging spectrometer; analyzes composition and structure of Pluto's atmosphere and looks for atmospheres around Charon and Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs).
REX(Radio Science EXperiment) Measures atmospheric composition and temperature; passive radiometer.
LORRI(Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) telescopic camera; obtains encounter data at long distances, maps Pluto's farside and provides high resolution geologic data.
SWAP(Solar Wind Around Pluto) Solar wind and plasma spectrometer; measures atmospheric "escape rate" and observes Pluto's interaction with solar wind.
PEPSSI(Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation) Energetic particle spectrometer; measures the composition and density of plasma (ions) escaping from Pluto's atmosphere.
SDC(Student Dust Counter) Built and operated by students; measures the space dust peppering New Horizons during its voyage across the solar system.


NASA/New Horizons site

New Horizons launch


Solar System Illustration

Solar System Concepts
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