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Pluto-bound spacecraft to be woken from hibernation to start mission

Dec 06, 2014    

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - After nine years and a journey of 3 billion miles (4.8 billion km), NASA's New Horizons robotic probe will be woken from hibernation to begin its unprecedented mission: the study of the icy dwarf planet Pluto and its home, the Kuiper Belt.A pre-set alarm clock is due to rouse New Horizons from its electronic slumber at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Saturday.The scientific observation of Pluto, its entourage of moons and other bodies in the solar system's frozen backyard begins Jan. 15, program managers said.Pluto lies in the Kuiper Belt, a region of icy mini-planets ...

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