New Horizons needed to travel with as little mass as possible to reach its destination, the Pluto-Charon binary system. The spacecraft weighed only 478 kilograms at its launch on 19 January 2006. This meant it was impossible to design the probe as an orbiter, as the fuel and braking engines required to enter into orbit around Pluto would have added too much mass. Nevertheless, the spacecraft was able to carry seven experiments to explore the distant ice world. With an escape velocity of 58,356 km/h, New Horizons was the fastest man-made object ever to leave Earth.