New Horizons Spacecraft

Image Credits: NASA.

Pluto before closest approach. Credit: NASA.Celebrations. Credit: NASA.Celebrations. Credit: NASA.

The New Horizons Spacecraft awoke from ‘hibernation’ on December 6th, 2014 and made a flyby of Pluto on Tuesday 14th July 2015 at 11:49:57 UTC.

Mission Objectives:

  • Map surface composition of Pluto and Charon
  • Characterize geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon
  • Characterize the neutral atmosphere of Pluto and its escape rate
  • Search for an atmosphere around Charon
  • Map surface temperatures on Pluto and Charon
  • Search for rings and additional satellites around Pluto
  • Conduct similar investigations of one or more Kuiper Belt Objects
New Horizons Spacecraft. Credit: NASA.


1025 lbs (465 kg), 8 feet wide (2.5 m), RTG powered