New Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006 to study the dwarf planet Pluto and the Kuiper belt. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, with an estimated arrival date at the Pluto–Charon system of 14 July 2015. As of 31 March 2014, its distance from Pluto is about 3.74 AU or 559,000,000 km, with radio signals taking approximately 4 hours to travel to the spacecraft from Earth.

Launched directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/s it set the record for the highest velocity of a human-made object from Earth. Using a combination of monopropellant and gravity assist, it flew by the orbit of Mars on 7 April 2006, Jupiter on 28 February 2007, the orbit of Saturn on 8 June 2008; and the orbit of Uranus on 18 March 2011. Its secondary mission is to fly by one or more other Kuiper belt objects, and then the heliosphere. It is expected to become the fifth interstellar probe and second fastest in the history of space exploration.

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