Ground team ready to rouse Pluto probe for historic flyby

December 2, 2014 1:50 PM

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On the final stretch of a speedy nine-year trek through the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will be awakened from hibernation Dec. 6 for an encounter with Pluto, a mysterious world that has captured imaginations and will soon be revealed in reality.

The plutonium-powered probe — roughly the size and shape of a grand piano — is heading for a flyby 6,200 miles from Pluto’s icy, unexplored surface on July 14, 2015.

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