LAUREL, Md. — The NASA spacecraft that yielded the first close-up views of Pluto opened the new year at an even more distant world, a billion miles beyond.
Flight controllers said everything looked good for New Horizons‘ flyby of the tiny, icy object at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday. Confirmation was not expected for hours, though, given the vast distance.
The mysterious, ancient target nicknamed Ultima Thule is 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) from Earth.