G-pluto.T.gif (1179 bytes) Exploring The Planets

Exploration of Pluto


Artist's concept of Pluto-Kuiper Express
NASA Image
NASA scientists have proposed a low-cost reconnaissance mission to Pluto  called  "Pluto-Kuiper Express". The purpose of the mission will be to gather atmospheric and surface composition data for both Pluto and Charon. This would be accomplished with two high-speed spacecraft that would fly by the Pluto-Charon system. The mission goal is to reach Pluto around 2010 or later. A launch date for the revised Pluto/Charon mission is still under review.

Pluto has never been explored by spacecraft. The Pluto/Charon Flyby mission would give humans the first ever close-up views of Pluto and Charon. If the Pluto/Charon portion of the mission is successful, it may be extended to encounter an asteroid sized object in the Kuiper Disk.

For more information about Pluto exploration:


Pluto Facts || Pluto's Orbit || Pluto & Charon   || Pluto & Charon Imagery || Exploration of Pluto
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Exploring The Planets

1998 National Air and Space Museum