New Horizons Trajectory Movie

This animation illustrates the trajectory (path through the Solar System) of the New Horizons space mission to Pluto and beyond.

Note: If you cannot see the movie you may need to download the latest QuickTime player.

Movie courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

The animation begins with the launch of New Horizons from Earth on January 19, 2006. New Horizons zoomed away from our planet at the highest speed of any spacecraft leaving Earth so far... it was traveling at 16.21 km/s (36,300 mph) when its engine shut down!

New Horizons crossed the orbit of Mars on April 7, 2006. The spacecraft safely passed through the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter during a five month period lasting from May through October 2006.

Next, the animation shows the spacecraft during its Jupiter flyby in February 2007. A gravity assist from the gas giant planet increases New Horizon's speed, cutting years off its journey to Pluto.

The spacecraft is expected to fly past Pluto and its largest moon Charon in July 2015. After that, scientists hope to steer New Horizons on to a close encounter with one or more Kuiper Belt Objects.

More New Horizons mission movies:

Animation icon Animation of the New Horizons mission (6.4 MB)

Animation icon Video of the launch of the New Horizons mission (5.5 MB)

Last modified January 23, 2007 by Randy Russell.

You might also be interested in:

New Horizons Mission to Pluto

A spacecraft is going to Pluto! The name of the spacecraft is New Horizons. New Horizons will be the first spacecraft ever to go to Pluto! Pluto is very, very far away. It will take New Horizons nine years...more

The Kuiper Belt

You might think that space out near Pluto is pretty empty and lonely. Guess what, it isn't! There are thousands and thousands of giant balls of ice and rock out there. Those giant balls are called Kuiper...more

Results from the New Horizons Jupiter Flyby

The New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to Pluto. Along the way, it flew past the giant planet Jupiter. When the spacecraft flew by Jupiter, Jupiter's strong gravity gave New Horizons a "slingshot...more

Images & Multimedia

Here you will find links to all sorts of pictures, animations, videos, sounds, and interactive multimedia that are on Windows to the Universe Explore collections of images in the Image Galleries. Watch...more

ACE Mission Page

Have you ever wondered what you are made of? Where did the elements come from that make up your body? The elements that make up your body are the same elements found on the Earth. Where did those Earth...more

ACE Instrumentation Page

The ACE spacecraft consists of a two-deck irregular octagon, about 1.6 meters (65 inches) across and about 1 meter (40 inches) high. Eight of the scientific instruments which measure a variety of particle...more

Apollo 17

Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harold Schmitt were the last humans to walk on the Moon, in the final mission of the Apollo space program. Together with Ronald Evans, they lifted off on Dec. 7, 1972 aboard...more

The Sun's Magnetic Field Polarity

Ulysses is a spacecraft that is traveling around the Sun. Ulysses is orbiting around the top and bottom of the Sun. No other spacecraft has ever done Ulysses gets to measure things no other...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA