New Horizons meets 2014 MU69
Three-and-a-half years ago New Horizons flew 12,500 kilometres (7,767 miles) above Pluto, gifting us close-up images of the dwarf planet and its heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio, but its mission was far from over as it headed deeper into the Kuiper Belt. NASA decided the next target in its sights would be (486958) 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule by the New Horizons team, which lies about 1.6 billion
kilometres (1 billion miles) beyond Pluto.
Due to arrive at the beginning of the year, this will be the furthest object visited by a spacecraft and will provide invaluable science about Kuiper Belt Objects. New Horizons is planned to fly within 3,540 kilometres (2,200 miles) of 2014 MU69, using its array of onboard tools to map its surface, temperature and composition and
determining how this primal object evolved.