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Emily LakdawallaDecember 20, 2005

(Almost) everything you ever wanted to know about New Horizons and Pluto

I was browsing around the Web today looking for material to improve the information we have on our site about Pluto, and discovered that the New Horizons mission has just posted their launch press kit. You can download it here (1.4 MB, PDF format). Every NASA mission prepares one of these press kits before major mission events, like the launch, major flyby events, orbit insertions, and that kind of thing. Although a press kit's main purpose is to provide encapsulated information about a mission to members of the media, they are in fact like a short book on the mission for the interested public, and well worth a read if you've ever asked yourself any questions about a mission. This New Horizons one is 40 pages long and has "quick facts" summaries on Pluto, the Kuiper belt, the spacecraft, and the mission profile, plus other sections on such topics as the rationale for the mission, the spacecraft science instruments and engineering subsystems, the launch vehicle, and so on. There's lots of food for the curious.

Read more: mission status, trans-neptunian objects, Charon, Pluto, dwarf planets beyond Neptune, New Horizons

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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