LAUREL, Md. – A tiny, icy world, located a billion miles from Pluto, meets the New Year's guest.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft should fly past a mysterious object named Ultima Thule (LLP-Li) at 12:33 pm on Tuesday. It will be the most distant world ever studied by humanity.
The flight took place three and a half years after the New Horizons passed by Pluto and gave the first close-ups of the dwarf planet.
This time, the drama will unfold at a distance of 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth, so far 10 hours before the flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, find out whether the spacecraft survived in melee.
Lead scientist Alan Stern said on Monday that the team has worked for years at the moment, and now “this is happening !!”