The Kuiper Belt is a vastly-unexplored region of the solar system filled with Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), and NASA expects to learn more about these objects after the new year; that’s when the space agency’s New Horizons probe will visit an icy body known to astronomers as Ultima Thule(previously 2014 MU69).
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been whizzing toward Ultima Thule ever since it completed its primary mission: the historic Pluto flyby of 2015. NASA estimates that the probe will arrive at its new destination at 12:33 A.M. Eastern time on New Year’s Day and engineers have devised a carefully-calculated trajectory to ensure it gets there safely.
The Kuiper Belt is full of variously-sized space rocks, much like the asteroid belt found between Mars and Jupiter. That said, NASA’s New Horizons hazard watch team has been on the constant lookout for any hazards that could prevent New Horizons from reaching its destination safely.
New Horizons Space craft has been in the news for a while.
A few of ATI instructors have been a part of this groundbreaking project.
1. Dr. Alan Stern http://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm
2. Eric Hoffman
3. Chris DeBoy
4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau http://www.aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm
5. Douglas Mehoke http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm
7. Timothy Cole
8. Robert Moore http://www.aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm
9. Jay Jenkinshttp://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm
Related blog post:
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is 15.96 astronomical units (about 2.39 billion kilometers, or 1.48 billion miles) from the Sun
The New Horizons Mission to Pluto–Ten Experts Who Worked Behind-the-Scenes On the New Horizons Mission and Who Teach for ATIcourses.