When was New Horizons launched and when will it arrive at Pluto?
Exploring the Outer Planets
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New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, on an Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since Pluto is so far away, and time is of the essence to get there, the mission will not have several gravity assists in a long, winding journey to the Kuiper Belt. Instead, the spacecraft was launched directly into an escape trajectory of thirty-six thousand miles (fifty-eight thousand kilometers) per hour—the highest-speed launch of any space probe—and headed on a beeline for Jupiter. It made a flyby of Jupiter on February 28, 2007, and used the planet in a gravitational slingshot to fly onward toward Pluto. New Horizons is expected to fly by Pluto on July 14, 2015.