The first days of 2019 will find the tireless team from NASA working, but their efforts will remain in history as part of a brave mission. In fact, this could be one of the Space Agency’s most daring quests, because it implies uncovering the secrets of a dwarf planet situated at four billion miles distance from the Sun.
The world is getting ready to celebrate the New Year, but NASA is about to see how a robotic probe reaches a mysterious frozen tiny planet. On New Year’s Day, the spacecraft will get deep into the farthest exploration mission as it reaches a dwarf item situated at the Solar System’s edge.
The probe will flyby Ultima Thule around January 1st
The strange planet is also known as the Kuiper Belt or Ultima Thule (this name comes from Latin and it means “beyond the known world”). Its location makes it difficult to study, but NASA sent a spacecraft to take as many pictures as possible.
The probe will flyby Ultima Thule around January 1st. It will have a 32,000mph speed and 2,175 miles altitude (this means 3,500 km above the planet’s surface). The mission is hard, because the small part of Kuiper Belt is the farthest planet ever spotted. It orbits even further than Pluto; the estimated distance is one billion miles further from Earth.
The mission is part of a project launched in 2006. That initiative was meant to explore Pluto’s surface. Once they noticed the mysterious dwarf planet from Kuiper Belt, scientists were curious to find out more about it and discovered a way to collect data.
The quest’s leading investigator, Alan Stern, declared that New Horizons, the spacecraft sent to explore the far-away planet is getting closer and closer to its destination. Scientists are hoping to start the year on the right foot.