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.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter                                                                                                  ASTRA 1KR --->