In Pictures: 21 critical future NASA missions

NASA space plans include trips to Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and the Sun as well as climate change operations

Vast beyond: NASA launched the New Horizons satellite in January 2006 and the 1,054 pound satellite will get it close to the dwarf planet sometime around July 2015. Once it is there – or actually within 6,000 miles of the planet and its largest moon, Charon -- New Horizons will take close-up pictures in visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The best pictures of Pluto will depict surface features as small as 200 feet (about 60 meters) across, NASA said.

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