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The Pluto mission marks the start of a new age of space exploration

Unmanned flights are the best way to discover the beauty of our cosmic neighbourhood

By Philip Ball  

. © Nasa

Read more: Is Nasa about to discover alien life?

As David Cameron discovered on 8th May, success is all the more euphoric when your expectations start low. NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and Charon (the largest of its five known moons) had been under the scientific radar for most of its nine-year journey to what used to be considered the edge of the solar system. Those who remembered the lonely…

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