September 22, 2019

New Horizons finds Ultima Thule has an unexpected, flattened shape

February 20, 2019

Images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft when it flew by an object the size of a large metropolitan area at the frontier of the solar system Jan. 1 have revealed the miniature world has a more flattened shape than the flyby’s initial pictures suggested.

ULA wins contract to launch NASA’s Lucy mission to visit unexplored asteroids

February 1, 2019

NASA has selected United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket to dispatch the Lucy spacecraft on a mission from Cape Canaveral in October 2021 to fly by seven unexplored asteroids, including six objects locked in orbits leading and trailing Jupiter, where scientists expect swarms of miniature worlds could hold clues about the formation of the solar system.

Ultima Thule revealed in new detail with fresh flyby image

January 25, 2019

A new image captured minutes before NASA’s New Horizons probe zipped by a rocky object in the Kuiper Belt on New Year’s Day shows the dual-lobed world — nicknamed Ultima Thule — is covered with intriguing fractures and a large crater-like depression that could provide clues about the early history of the solar system.

Most distant object ever visited resembles a snowman

January 2, 2019

The first well-resolved image of the faraway chunk of rock fleetingly visited by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on New Year’s Day reveals the object — officially named 2014 MU69 but nicknamed Ultima Thule — is made of two lobes scientists say came together in an ancient slow-speed collision just as the solar system’s planets were forming.

New Horizons scientists elated as Ultima Thule’s shape comes into view

January 1, 2019

A fresh image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft released Tuesday showed the mission’s distant flyby target a billion miles beyond Pluto — nicknamed Ultima Thule — has an elongated shape like that of a peanut shell or a bowling pin, and the prospect of higher-resolution pictures arriving on Earth later in the day had scientists salivating for more.

New Horizons phones home, confirms successful flyby

January 1, 2019

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft raced past a frozen remnant of the solar system’s birth early New Year’s Day, phoned home to confirm a successful flyby and readied a treasure trove of pictures and other data for transmission back to eager scientists some 4.1 billion miles away.

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