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Home / Science / NASA races into the tiny, icy world beyond Pluto

NASA races into the tiny, icy world beyond Pluto



by ARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

FILE – This composite image provided by NASA shows the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed "Ultima Thule," framed by the crosshair on August 1

6, 2018 , made by the New Horizons spacecraft. The brightness of the stars was subtracted from the final image with a separate photo from September 2017, before the object itself could be detected. (NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics / Southwest Research Institute on AP)

LAUREL, Md. (AP) – A tiny, icy world a billion miles from Pluto receives a New Year's visitor.

The spaceship New Horizons will fly past a mysterious object called Ultima Thule on Tuesday at 12:33. It will be the farthest world ever explored by humanity.

The flyby comes 3 1/2 years after New Horizons passed Pluto, producing the first close-up of the dwarf planet.

This Time The drama will be 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth, so far away it will be ten hours until air traffic controllers in Laurel, Maryland, know if the spacecraft has survived the encounter.

Senior scientist Alan Stern said Monday that the team has been working for this moment for years and now "it's happening !!"


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