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Chasing Pluto 1x53

On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft, one of the most advanced spacecraft ever built, is scheduled to fly by and take the very first detailed images of Pluto. After a nine-year journey of three billion miles, it will finally get a detailed look at this strange, icy world at the very edge of our solar system. Back on Earth, a small group of planetary scientists who have spent decades working on this mission anxiously wait to receive a signal from their spacecraft. New Horizons stands poised to provide the first close look at a vast realm of icy bodies lurking beyond Neptune, relics of the earliest days of the solar system’s formation. But will it survive the final, treacherous leg of its journey toward Pluto, which takes it through a dangerous field of debris? NOVA’s cameras will be there to witness the moment, showing Pluto’s rocky surface in unprecedented detail and learning new secrets about other alien worlds at the far limits of our solar system.