The fastest spacecraft ever launched from Earth stole a tiny bit of Jupiter’s orbital energy this morning, picking up speed as it heads toward Pluto and the unexplored Kuiper Belt beyond. New Horizons came within 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) of the giant planet at 12:43 A.M. EST. The spacecraft hit its 500-mile-wide (800 km) “aim point” perfectly, putting it on course to reach Pluto in July 2015.
In this week’s podcast, Senior Editor Rich Talcott explains the significance of the spacecraft’s maneuver.
Click here to view a New Horizons poster.
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