Elapsed Mission Time:
Beginning 1/19/06 19:00:00 UTC
2961 Days (8.11 yrs.) 07 Hours 58 Minutes
Pluto Closest Encounter
4/12/15 00:00:00 UTC
407 Days (1.12 yrs.) 21 Hours 01 Minutes
Pluto Closest Approach:
7/14/15 11:49:59 UTC
501 Days (1.37 yrs.) 08 Hours 50 Minutes
New Horizons sailed past another milepost today when the NASA spacecraft moved to within four astronomical units (AU) of Pluto – which is less than four times the distance between the Earth and the sun, or about 371 million miles (598 million kilometers). "We're as close to the Pluto system now as Earth ever gets to Jupiter, a first for any spacecraft,” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.
Since launch on January 19, 2006, New Horizons has covered nearly 2.89 billion miles (4.62 billion kilometers). It makes a temporal connection with one NASA’s legendary deep-space explorers this summer when it crosses the orbit of Neptune on Aug. 25 — exactly 25 years after Voyager 2 made its historic flight past that giant planet. When New Horizons arrives at Pluto on July 14, 2015, it will have traveled farther than any spacecraft ever has to reconnoiter its prime target. An astronomical unit (AU) is the average distance between the Earth and sun, about 93 million miles or 149 million kilometers. New Horizons’ journey from Earth to Pluto will have covered more than 32 AU. when it reaches its destination.
New Horizons Course and Position in Two Dimensions: