NASA's new horizon is about to go bravely where no spaceship has gone before.
On New Year's Eve, the New Horizon spacecraft will make the farthest planet into the world.
It will pass the asteroid Ultima Thule, or its official name (486958) 2014 MU69, which is more than 6 billion kilometers in the Kuiper Belt.
New Horizons will fly within 3,500 kilometers of the asteroid, passing at a speed of more than 50,000 km / h.
NASA made its final corrections to the approach of the spacecraft this week, even the smallest change was a big difference.
"The burning of 0.26 meters / second lasted only 27 seconds and was perfectly executed by the spacecraft, eliminating about 300 kilometers from an estimated targeting error and speeding up our arrival time by five seconds," NASA said.
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The final sequence of flyby instructions were sent on Christmas Day.
Any other changes will have to be sent to new horizons by December 30, as it takes 12 hours to transmit messages to the spacecraft.
"But we can not burn the engines anymore, because this new horizons will soon enter the confluence mode, which does not allow engine burns," NASA said.
& # 39; Meeting Mode & # 39; Means that if there was a problem with the flight instructions sent from Earth, the integrated software would be required and solve problems on its own rather than call back to Earth.
NASA will photograph Ultima, but she has no idea what she will discover.
"We expect that Ultima is the most preserved sample of ever planetary stone structure," NASA said.
"In fact, Ultima should be an expensive window into the early stages of star formation and what the solar system was like over 4.5 billion years ago."
The images should return to Earth in the late evening on January 1.
New Horizon has been a star journey – in 2015 it was the first spacecraft to fly across Planet Pluto dwarf.
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