NASA spacecraft completes farthest flyby in history. What's next?
Scientists at last have their first good look at a primordial piece of the solar system orbiting more than four billion miles away.
Laurel, MarylandOn the final evening of 2018, the biggest New Year's Eve party in the solar system unfolded across four billion miles of space. At 12:33 a.m. ET on January 1, NASA's New Horizons probe flew by a small lump of rock and ice called 2014 MU69. Also nicknamed Ultima Thule (UL-tee-ma TOO-le), it's now the most distant, and most primitive, place ever visited by humans.
Due to the vast distance messages must travel between Earth and the spacecraft, members of the New Horizons team didn't immediately know for sure whether the flyby was successful. But just after 10:30 a.m., as a plush of the Disney dog Pluto watched over them, the confirmation signal came in, and the teams in charge