The artistic vision of the NASA New Horizons spacecraft meeting 2014 MU69. This is an object from the Kuiper belt, distant by 1.6 billion km.
The celebration of the New Year in 2019 will include an amazing event, which will be celebrated at a distance of 1.6 billion km.
Only a year later (approximately after January 1), the NASA New Horizons spacecraft will meet the most distant object for direct research - 2014 MU69 in the Kuiper belt. The device will be able to provide a close-up to the untouched building block of our system.
We have long known about the existence of this territory, but New Horizons will be able to examine in detail the belt representative and break into the unknown. This is a continuation of the mission to study Pluto, which was completed in 2015.
Like other detached ice worlds, MU69 lives under cover of mystery. All available information was obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope, which observed the object last summer. Details managed to be noticed when MU69 passed in front of three stars. The survey showed that we could encounter two objects, possibly accompanied by the moon. Everything suggests that the New Horizons will face amazing surprises. The device will approach a distance of three times closer than Pluto in July 2015, allowing the cameras to look at the surface. The proximity to 3500 km will help to describe in detail the features of the MU69.
A study of the images of the object itself and an analysis of the environment around MU69 will help to understand exactly how the dwarf planets were formed. Flight to MU69 is the main goal of today's mission New Horizons. In addition, the unit will monitor two dozen other objects from the belt.
Until June 4, New Horizons will remain in hibernation. After awakening and testing scientific instruments, he will begin preparations for a meeting with the MU69 in August. The obtained data is used to select the flight path.