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8 intriguing images of Pluto and beyond

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 12, 2011, 11:07 a.m.
new horizons at pluto

Photo: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

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New Horizons at Pluto

The artist's rendering shows the New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto and Charon. NASA launched the New Horizons spacecraft in 2006. It will continue past Uranus to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. According to NASA, New Horizons includes a dish about 8 feet (2.1 meters) long that will allow the unmanned craft to communicate with Earth. In 2015, New Horizons will spend about five months studying Pluto and its neighbors. You can follow the progress of the mission here.