Christian Castillo/Staff reporter

A spacecraft named New Horizons was launched on January 19,2006 to study the planet Pluto and the Kuiper belt. New Horizons mission was extended so it could study other objects in the Kuiper belt and help us understand the solar system.

On January 19, 2006, the National Aeronautics and Space administration or NASA, launched their newest spacecraft called New Horizons which was made by the john Hopkins university. The goal for New Horizons was to spend nine years flying to the planet Pluto and study it while also studying the Kuiper belt.

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt which at the time of the launch was still called the ninth planet in the solar system. The Kuiper belt is a big disc of dust, gas, asteroids and other things in the outer part of the solar system.

The launch of New Horizons was originally on January 11, 2006 but was delayed until the 17 so the rocket could have inspections done and then it got delayed again until the 19 because of low clouds and technical difficulties. The rocket was launched at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or CCAFS.

How NASA launched New Horizons was by putting the spacecraft into a rocket, launching it and then shooting it out of the rocket once it reached space.

After New Horizons finished its mission it was decided to extend its mission in order to study other objects that are in the Kuiper belt and the transformation of the early solar system.