Atlas 5 launches New Horizons, the first mission to Pluto
1/19/06 ~ 2:00pm

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NEWLY REDONE: **New Horizons cleanroom gallery**       Rocket rollout & sunset

Astronomy Picture of the Day!

The Atlas 5 rocket, flying for the first time in its most powerful configuration, a 551 with five solid rocket boosters and the large, bulbous
five-meter diameter payload fairing, lifts off on January 19, 2006, with New Horizons. New Horizons will be the first spacecraft in history to visit
Pluto, giving us a view on the only one of the "original nine" planets not yet explored. The three-stage Atlas sent New Horizons on the fastest
departure from Earth for any spacecraft in history, but it will take an incredible 9.5 years for it to reach Pluto.


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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter                                                                                                  ASTRA 1KR --->