New Horizons Spacecraft T-Shirt

On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by an Atlas V rocket directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory with a speed of about 16. 26 km/s (10. 10 mi/s; 58,500 km/h; 36,400 mph). It was the fastest man-made object ever launched from Earth. After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007, at a distance of 2. 3 million kilometers (1. 4 million miles). The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons’ speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons’ scientific capabilities, returning data about the planet’s atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.

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