Pluto Flyover from the New Horizons Spacecraft

The New Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006 and shot past Pluto at a speed of about 80,000 kilometers per hour in July 2015. Recently, many images from this spectacular passage have been color enhanced and digitally combined into the featured two-minute time-lapse video.

For space exploration, robotic spacecrafts and robots will continue to be our vehicles and equipments of choice. Without robotic spacecrafts like New Horizons, we would not have these incredible photos of the planets (and dwarf planets) of our Solar System.

Next, New Horizons is targeting Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU 69, which it should reach on New Year’s Day 2019.


Though New Horizons only did a flyover, what would it look like if it did land on Pluto? Again, using more than 100 detailed images from 2015, the following video offers a trip down onto the surface of Pluto — starting with a distant view of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon — and leading up to an eventual ride in for a “landing” on the shoreline of Pluto’s informally named Sputnik Planitia.