New Horizons

NASA's mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

The New Horizons mission will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of the dwarf planet Pluto and by venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt – a relic of solar system formation.

The spacecraft will conduct a five-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons in summer 2015. Pluto closest approach is scheduled for July 14, 2015. As part of an extended mission, the spacecraft is expected to head farther into the Kuiper Belt to examine one or two of the ancient, icy mini-worlds in that vast region, at least a billion miles beyond Neptune’s orbit.

» Learn more about the New Horizons mission

New Horizons
Artist's concept of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it passes Pluto and Pluto's largest moon, Charon. Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben