A mission to an unexplored planet is being launched for the first time since the Voyager craft left for Jupiter and Saturn in the 1970s. ... to reach Pluto in July 2015 (Jupiter slingshot manoeuvre, March 2007, to achieve speeds of about 25km/s) or 2018. ... We've never got a good view of what it looks like, even with the best telescopes - even with Hubble. It just looks like a fuzzy blob. ... For onboard electric power, the probe will convert heat from the decay of radioactive plutonium pellets into electricity for the spacecraft's systems and science instruments. Operating so far from the Sun means New Horizons cannot use solar panels. ... At the closest point, New Horizons will be 10,000km from Pluto and about 27,000km from Charon.
planet Pluto New Horizons