NASA's New Horizons probe, which flew past Pluto last month, now has a second target to aim for. The New Horizons team has selected an object named 2014 MU69, which lies roughly 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, as the next target for up-close study by the spacecraft, NASA announced today (Aug. 28). However, the space agency still must officially approve a New Horizons mission extension for the second flyby to take place in 2019.

NASA's New Horizons probe, which flew past Pluto last month, now has a second target to aim for. The New Horizons team has selected an object named 2014 MU69, which lies roughly 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, as the next target for up-close study by the spacecraft, NASA announced today (Aug. 28). However, the space agency still must officially approve a New Horizons mission extension for the second flyby to take place in 2019.

2014 MU69: Next Target for New HorizonsThis diagram shows the projected route of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft toward 2014 MU69, orbiting in the Kuiper Belt about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

2014 MU69: Next Target for New HorizonsThis diagram shows the projected route of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft toward 2014 MU69, orbiting in the Kuiper Belt about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

After its historic flyby of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to rendezvous with a tiny, icy Kuiper Belt object.

After its historic flyby of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to rendezvous with a tiny, icy Kuiper Belt object.

An annotated overlay of 5 Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 discovery images of 2014 MU69 taken on June 24, 2014. The images were taken at 10-minute intervals. The positions of 2014 MU69 in the 5 images are shown by the green circles. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

An annotated overlay of 5 Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 discovery images of 2014 MU69 taken on June 24, 2014. The images were taken at 10-minute intervals. The positions of 2014 MU69 in the 5 images are shown by the green circles. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

New Horizons' Next Target: 2014 MU69

New Horizons' Next Target: 2014 MU69

G.A.B.I.E.: «2014 MU69», el próximo mundo congelado que explor...

G.A.B.I.E.: «2014 MU69», el próximo mundo congelado que explor...

The spacecraft will visit 2014 MU69, another piece of the frigid debris beyond Neptune along the Kuiper belt.

The spacecraft will visit 2014 MU69, another piece of the frigid debris beyond Neptune along the Kuiper belt.

About the 2014 MU69 that orbits nearly a billion miles beyond Pluto, the next target for New Horizons.

About the 2014 MU69 that orbits nearly a billion miles beyond Pluto, the next target for New Horizons.

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