Google Doodle Celebrates Pluto Flyby by NASA's New Horizons

On July 14, 2015, Google honored NASA's New Horizons Pluto flyby with its own Google Doodle.
On July 14, 2015, Google honored NASA's New Horizons Pluto flyby with its own Google Doodle. (Image credit: Google)

LAUREL, Md. -- Today, July 14, 2015,  NASA will make history when its New Horizons spacecraft becomes the first mission ever to fly by Pluto, and the folks at Google are celebrating with an appropriately celebratory Google doodle. 

The animated Google doodle shows the Pluto flyby as New Horizons whips by the dwarf planet at a mind-boggling 31,000 mph (49,889 km/h). Launched in 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft has traveled for more than nine years and across 3 billion miles (4.7 billion kilometers) to reach Pluto. You can watch NASA's Pluto flyby webcast on, beginning at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), which will originate from New Horizons' mission operations center here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where more than 1,000 guests, dignitaries and reporters are expected to attend the historic encounter.

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According to Google, today's Pluto flyby doodle is meant to celebrate the unprecedented encounter with Pluto at the edge of the solar system. 

"Today's Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons' intrepid voyage to Pluto's distant corner of the solar system," Google representatives wrote in a statement. "Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA's New Horizons YouTube page, where you'll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers."

Already, New Horizons has beamed to Earth spectacular images of Pluto, but those images will be a their best today, when the probe approaches within 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers) of the dwarf planet and snaps its closest and most detailed views.

You can follow's latest images and stories on the Pluto flyby here: New Horizons Probe's July 14 Pluto Flyby: Complete Coverage.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.