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New Horizons makes historic fly-by of Pluto

New Horizons makes historic fly-by of Pluto

Mankind reached the farthest frontier of the solar system Tuesday morning when NASA's New Horizons became the first spacecraft to explore Pluto.

The probe, which is the size of a baby grand piano, revealed ancient cratered surfaces and possible signs of tectonic activity, but raised more questions to be addressed over the coming days and months.

New Horizons, which was designed, built and managed by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, sped past the dwarf planet just before 8 a.m. at a distance of less than 7,700 miles. It was the pinnacle of a 91/2-year, 3 billion-mile journey.

It arrived about 70 seconds earlier and 70 kilometers closer...