Atlas V To Launch New Horizons Mission
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has chosen the Atlas V expendable launch vehicle provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services as the launch system for the proposed Pluto New Horizons mission. The mission is scheduled for launch to Pluto in January 2006. As proposed, the mission is a scientific investigation to obtain the first reconnaissance of Pluto-Charon, a binary planet system.
This will be a firm fixed-price launch service task order awarded under the terms of the current NASA launch services contract. The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, a constituent company of International Launch Services.