New Horizons is a NASA space probe launched to study the dwarf planet Pluto, its moons and one or two other Kuiper belt objects, depending on which are in position to be explored. Part of the New Frontiers program, the mission was approved in 2001 after cancellation of Pluto Fast Flyby and Pluto Kuiper Express. The mission profile was proposed by a team led by principal investigator Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute. After several delays on the launch site, New Horizons was launched on 19 January 2006 from Cape Canaveral, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph); it set the record for the highest launch speed of a human-made object from Earth. New Horizons should perform a flyby of the Pluto system on 14 July 2015.
Source – Wkipedia