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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New Horizon Plan for 2019 Flyby

     NASA's New Horizon mission has set the distance for its New Year's Day 2019 flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, aiming to come three times closer to MU69 than it famously flew past Pluto in 2015.

That milestone will mark farthest planetary encounter in history - some one billion miles beyond the Pluto and more than four billion miles from Earth. If all goes as planned, New Horizons will come to within just 2,175 miles of MU69 at closest approach, peering down on it from celestial north. The alternate plan, to be employed in certain contigency situations such as the discovery of debris near MU69, would take New Horizons within 6,000 miles - still closer than the 7,800 miles flyby distance to Pluto.

If the closer approach is executed, the highest resolution camera on New Horizons, the telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) should be able to spot details as small as 230 feet across, for example: compared to nearly 600 feet on Pluto

On Reaching the 2014 MU69 object and seeing it as actual new world, will be another historic exploration achievement, said "Helene Winters", the New Horizon project manager from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.The New Horizon team is excited about the challenges and opportunities of a voyage to this faraway frontier.


Text and Image Credit : NASA

Tags: New Horizon | Pluto & Charon Flyby | MU69 Object Flyby

More Information : New Horizon 2019 Flyby Plan

What is MU69 Object : 2014 MU69 Object


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