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Welcome to 2015 space fans!

In the coming year we have all kinds of new mission launches, space-based research, and celestial events to look forward to.

I'm only one person and as much as I'd like to I can't give you the whole universe in 4 minutes. But there are two missions that will reach their objectives this year that I want to tell you about because they could change forever what we know about our solar system.

So, today, I bring you news from the future and the space missions to look forward to in 2015.

First, allow me to direct your attention to the asteroid belt. We actually have a few populations of asteroids hurdling around the solar system, but the one I'm talking about here is the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and here this year we will make our first contact with any dwarf planet in the solar system.

And actually, it will be the first of two dwarf planets that we'll get to know in 2015.

In April, NASA's Dawn Spacecraft will sidle up to the dwarf planet, Ceres, the largest object in the main belt and settle in for a 5-month orbit.

Dawn's mission began with it's launch in 2007 and its first order of business was to visit the proto- planet, Vesta, also in the asteroid belt.

Using gentle and efficient ion propulsion, Dawn was able to tuck itself in and out of orbit with Vesta and has been gradually picking its way toward Ceres for the last few years.

Last month, Dawn began taking photos of Ceres and this month, it'll be near enough to capture our best yet images of the dwarf planet.

But in March, Dawn will be captured by Ceres' gravity, and by April it'll be in a 61,000 kilometer orbit around it.

From there, Dawn will use a spectrometer to observe the body's surface composition and properties, a gamma-ray and neutron detector to map its elements, and sound waves to measure its mass and movements.

Dawn's mission is to teach us about the beginning stages of planetary formation. By looking at pre-planet teenagers like Ceres and Vesta, NASA hopes to learn about the roles that things like size and composition play in the eventual development of planets.

Now, just a few months later in July, a separate NASA spacecraft will check out another teen planet for the first time, and it's one I know you and probably love, the dwarf planet, Pluto.

New Horizons launched in 2006, and has spend two thirds of the time since then in hibernation, zooming far beyond Neptune and into the Kuiper Belt, another asteroid belt on the outer rim of the solar system.

New Horizons finally woke up last month when it was 4.7 billion kilometers from Earth, but a relatively close 260 million kilometers from Pluto.

Later in January, it will be close enough to begin making observations of Pluto, and by May it will be sending back the best images of the dwarf planet we've ever seen.

Then in July, New Horizons will pass within 10 thousand kilometers of Pluto. 10 thousand kilometers! That's like from me to South Africa! In the grand scheme of the universe, not far at all!

But unlike ion-powered Dawn, New Horizons will be moving much too quickly to be captured by little Pluto's weak gravity. It will have to use its 4 spectrometers, radiometer, dust detector, and telescopic camera to collect as much data about Pluto's surface and atmosphere as it can in just a few days.

Then New Horizons will continue making observations as it passes through the Kuiper Belt for as long as it can. Possibly up to 20 years.

The data collected by New Horizons will inform future missions to this part of the solar system, maybe even find new dwarf or proto- planets for us to study.

But if any of you out there are still holding out hope, I don't think its going to find anything that will make Pluto a planet again.

Thank you for exploring the universe with SciShow Space during its first year, especially those of you who joined our community of supporters on Subbable. If you want to find out how you can help, check out and doing forget to go to and subscribe.