1. ITV Report

Nasa probe wakes up for world's first mission to Pluto

Photo: Nasa

It's been nine years in the making, but today a Nasa spacecraft bound for Pluto woke up to complete the rest of its mission.

The New Horizon's probe was roused from its electronic slumber by a pre-set alarm clock at 2.30am.

It even had a little help from opera singer Russell Watson, who sang it a song.

Pluto is 3 billion miles away from Earth and has remained a mystery since its discovery in 1930.

It was originally named the ninth planet of the solar system but was stripped of its title in 2006 when scientists deemed it was an ice mass. It is now known as the icy dwarf planet.

Nasa launched the New Horizons probe in January 2006 and, if the mission is successful, it will reach Pluto in July 2015 allowing scientists to study it for the first time.

At the moment it is so far away that radio signals travelling at the speed of light take four hours and 25 minutes to reach Earth.

New Horizons mission operations manager Alice Bowman said: “It’s time for New Horizons to get to work and start making history.”