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NASA, with their New Horizons robotic spacecraft mission has been on route to the dwarf planet Pluto for over nine years now. It will reach Pluto on July 14 this year, taking the first ever photographic pictures of the dwarf planet. My question is this: is New Horizons the fastest ever man made object? Someone said NASA's Helios 2 takes that record, but how can it be so? That probe was built in the early 1970s when men such as Richard Nixon and Edward Heath were running governments. Long time ago.
The Helios probes were fired towards the sun, and thus gained velocity as tehy approached the sun.New Horizons, and the Voyager probes were fired heading away from Earth and the sun, and thus lost velocity as they traveled further from the sun.