The Atlas V rocket with the New Horizons probe is launched successfully. After 44 minutes and 53 seconds it separates from its solid-fuel kick motor. Five minutes later mission control receives the first signals from the probe that all is well. The fastest probe ever launched is hurtling through space at 36,000 mph on its three billion journey to Pluto. NASA:
Today, NASA began an unprecedented journey of exploration to the ninth planet in the solar system. Right now, what we know about Pluto could be written on the back of a postage stamp. After this mission, we’ll be able to fill textbooks with new information.