New Horizons is a NASA robotic spacecraft mission currently en route to the dwarf planet Pluto. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, and Hydra. NASA may also approve flybys of one or more other Kuiper belt objects.
New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/s (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph) after its last engine shut down. Thus, the spacecraft left Earth at the greatest launch speed ever recorded for a man-made object. New Horizonsflew by Jupiter on February 28, 2007, the orbit of Saturn on June 8, 2008; and the orbit of Uranus on March 18, 2011: it is projected to reach Pluto on July 14, 2015, after which it will continue farther into the Kuiper belt.