NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is poised to become the first probe to visit distant Pluto.
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Pluto is pictured in this July 7, 2015 handout image from New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI).This image, the most detailed yet returned by the LORRI aboard New Horizons -- has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument. REUTERS/NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI/Handout via Reuters
Pluto (R) and its moon Charon are pictured from about 6 million kilometers in this July 8, 2015 NASA handout photo from the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). REUTERS/NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI/Handout via Reuters
Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, taken by the Ralph color imager aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, April 9, 2015. It is the first color image ever made of the Pluto system by a spacecraft on approach, according to NASA. The image was made from a distance of about 71 million miles. REUTERS/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Handout
An artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, July 2015. The first spacecraft to visit distant Pluto, a dwarf planet in the solar system's frozen backyard, is still three months away from a close encounter, but already in viewing range, newly released photos show. REUTERS/NASA/Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
An artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, currently en route to Pluto, is shown in this handout image provided by NASA/JHUAPL. REUTERS/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Handout
The most detailed view to date of the entire surface of the dwarf planet Pluto as constructed from multiple NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken from 2002 to 2003 and released on February 4, 2010. REUTERS/NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)/Handout
The Atlas V rocket with the New Horizons spacecraft blasts off from complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida January 19, 2006. Atlas V and New Horizons are on a mission to Pluto and its moon Charon. REUTERS/Rick Fowler
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, to be launched toward the planet Pluto, is displayed at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida November 4, 2005. REUTERS/Charles W Luzier
Hubble Space Telescope images, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, show Pluto, its large moon Charon, and the planet's two new putative satellites June 11, 2002. REUTERS/NASA
Pictures of the surface of the planet Pluto by NASA March 7, 1996. The pictures, taken from the Hubble Space Telescope with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera, were made in June and July of 1994 and show that Pluto is an unusually complex object with more large-scale contrast than any other planet except Earth. REUTERS/NASA