The cost of the mission (including spacecraft and instrument development, launch vehicle, mission operations, data analysis, and education/public outreach) is approximately 0 million over 15 years (2001–2016).
The spacecraft was built primarily by Southwest Research Institute (Sw RI) and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Ed Weiler prompted Stern to lobby for the funding of New Horizons in hopes of the mission appearing in the Planetary Science Decadal Survey; a prioritized "wish list", compiled by the United States National Research Council, that reflects the opinions of the scientific community.
After an intense campaign to gain support for New Horizons, the Planetary Science Decadal Survey of 2003–2013 was published in the summer of 2002.
The New Horizons proposal was one of five that were officially submitted to NASA.
It was later selected as one of two finalists to be subject to a three-month concept study, in June 2001.
New Horizons body forms a triangle, almost 0.76 m (2.5 ft) thick.
Navigation is performed at various contractor facilities, whereas the navigational positional data and related celestial reference frames are provided by the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station through Headquarters NASA and JPL; Kinet X is the lead on the New Horizons navigation team and is responsible for planning trajectory adjustments as the spacecraft speeds toward the outer Solar System.Funding for the mission was finally secured following the publication of the report, and Stern's team were finally able to start building the spacecraft and its instruments, with a planned launch in January 2006 and arrival at Pluto in 2015.New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers mission category, larger and more expensive than the Discovery missions but smaller than the Flagship Program.Some of the questions the mission attempts to answer are: What is Pluto's atmosphere made of and how does it behave? which also carried a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) and dish on a box-in-box structure through the outer Solar System.Many subsystems and components have flight heritage from APL's CONTOUR spacecraft, which in turn had heritage from APL's TIMED spacecraft.the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow.