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January 17, 2006

First Spacecraft sent to Pluto

NASA will launch the first spacecraft for Pluto today.  It will take 9 years for the unmanned ship to travel 3 billion miles and reach the Solar Systemís ninth planet. NASA scientists will attempt to learn more about the planet Pluto and its three moons including Plutoís largest moon, Charon.

The spacecraft is called New Horizons.  New Horizons will also investigate the mysterious Kuiper Belt.  This strange area of our Solar System holds all kinds of icy objects including comets. The New Horizons will also be the fastest spacecraft ever launched.  It will leave earth at a speed of 36,000 miles per hour.

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Patricia Tombaugh.  It was the last planet discovered and will be the final planet explored.

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