Pluto IS a planet.
Sorry had to say that.
But this is cool, it is the New Horizons spacecraft and it has taken a very long time to get to the edge of the solar system. 9 years to get to the vicinity, and a couple more to its mission sampling of the local dust, studies of the background light in the universe, and more.
“Only two spacecraft have ever left our solar system and lived to tell the tale. In 2012 and 2019, NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft respectively broke through the heliopause, the boundary at which our sun’s sphere of influence gives way to the interstellar medium. They have sent back remarkable riches from this distant location, humanity’s first foray into the limitless bounds beyond our solar system’s edge. In hot pursuit, however, is a far more advanced vehicle, sporting improved instruments, updated optics, and even a means to sample the interstellar medium itself. New Horizons was launched from Earth in 2006 on a mission to visit Pluto, arriving in 2015 and revealing incredible details during its all-too-brief flyby.”
“For New Horizons, those “unique things” include unprecedented studies of the planets Uranus and Neptune, sampling of the local dust, studies of the background light in the universe, and more. The sum total will be a new phase of the mission that is “really unique and interdisciplinary in nature,” says Alan Stern, the lead on the mission at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Texas.”
The craft will be exiting hibernation for its extended mission. I love this crap.