NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Is Triumphant in Encounter With the Most Distant Object Ever Visited
LAUREL, Md. — Thirty-three minutes into the new year, scientists, engineers and well-wishers here at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory celebrated the moment that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to a small, icy world nicknamed Ultima Thule.
Almost 10 hours later, the New Horizons team finally received confirmation that the spacecraft had executed its planned observations flawlessly. In the days and months to come, the mission’s scientists expect to receive pictures of Ultima Thule and scientific data that could lead to discoveries about the origins of the sun and the planets.
Photo: Matt Roth for The New York Times