New Horizons, the fastest Earth-born spacecraft launched to date, running partly on nuclear energy, is well-known for the beautiful images of Pluto it transmitted back to Earth in July 2015. The fast-moving unmanned spacecraft became dormant for five months to save energy as it trekked to the Kuiper Belt.
New Horizons was instrumental in renaming Pluto, which went from being the ninth planet to being a dwarf-planet, now known merely as « asteroid number 134340. »
New Horizons is also carrying some of Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes, the scientist who discovered Pluto. Tombaugh’s last living request was to have at least a small portion of his ashes sent into space, according to The Telegraph.
On September 11, the spacecraft