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December 27, 2009|By Frank Roylance | Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger

On Tuesday, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be closer to Pluto than to Earth. The $700 million mission was designed and is managed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. Launched in 2006, the craft is now traveling at 36,900 miles an hour relative to the sun. It's due to pass Uranus' orbit in 2011, Neptune's in August 2014. It will speed by Pluto in July 2015, the first craft from Earth ever to visit the icy world and its moons - Charon, Hydra and Nix.

> Read Frank Roylance's blog on MarylandWeather.com

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