NASA spacecraft hurtles toward tiny, icy world beyond Pluto
By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer
LAUREL, Md. (AP) - A tiny, icy world a billion miles beyond Pluto is getting a New Year's Day visitor.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly past a mysterious object nicknamed Ultima Thule (TOO-lee) at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday. It will become the most distant world ever explored by humankind.
The flyby comes 3½ years after New Horizons swung past Pluto and yielded the first close-ups of the dwarf planet.
This time, the drama will unfold 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth, so far away it will be 10 hours before flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, know whether the spacecraft survived the close encounter.
Lead scientist Alan Stern said Monday the team has worked years for this moment and now, "it's happening!!"
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Child hospitalized after suspected shark bite on South Padres Island
Medical helicopter, emergency services spotted in Penitas parking lot
New fiber optic internet provider expanding web access in the Valley
Crowded buses spark COVID-19 concerns among McAllen ISD drivers
DPS holds first weekly Operation Lone Star briefing