The 1,000-lb spacecraft carries seven scientific

instruments it will use to explore Pluto and its moon, Charon, as early as the summer of 2015. Its mission is to examine the geology of Pluto and Charon, mapping their composition, recording temperatures, and observing

Pluto's atmosphere. The probe may also make fly-bys of rocky objects further out in the solar system during the extended mission.

Image: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute