One Universe at a Time

Target Acquired

Credit: NASA/Alex Parker

Now that New Horizons has zipped past Pluto, it’s main mission is to gradually transmit back all the data it gathered during the flyby. We’ve already learned some amazing things from the mission, and we’re certain to learn more as the rest of the data reaches us. But not content with just one flyby, the New Horizons team has another target in their sights.

The target they’ve chosen is known as 2014 MU69. It’s about 35 km across, and is part of the Kuiper belt, which is an icy outer region of objects similar to the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The encounter will give us an opportunity to see a Kuiper belt object up close, so we should learn a lot form a type of solar system body we currently know very little about.

If all goes as planned, New Horizons should make its flyby of MU69 in January 2019.