NASA's New Horizons – the fastest-ever spacecraft at launch – left Earth in 2006 and hurtled through the void at nearly one million miles per day toward a mysterious world on the solar system’s outer edge. See Space.com's complete coverage of the spacecraft's epic July 14 flyby of the dwarf planet. NASA's New Horizons became the first spacecraft to visit dwarf planet Pluto in July 2015. NASA's New Horizons probe is about to lift the veil on Pluto.
Of course, to ensure that the flyby was a maximum gain event the New Horizons probe did not transmit any data until the flyby was well over. As New Horizons flew past Pluto and Charon at 30,800 miles per hour on July 14, 2015, its closest approach was at 7:49 am eastern time at 7,690 miles, just 74 seconds early and only 45 miles off! Three billion miles (4.8 billion km) and 9 1/2 years later, the spacecraft flew-by its target: Pluto. Icy mountains on Pluto and a new, crisp view of its largest moon, Charon, are among the several discoveries announced Wednesday by the NASA's New Horizons team, just one day after the spacecraft’s first ever Pluto flyby.