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Beyond Pluto

Nasa's New Horizons probe notches up another historic first - the first ever Kuiper belt fly-by and an encounter with a chunk of rock and ice four billion miles from Earth.

On 1 January 2019, Nasa's New Horizons probe notched up another historic first: the first ever Kuiper belt fly-by. Its target was 2014 MU69, a chunk of ice and rock about four billion miles (approximately 6.4 billion kilometres) from Earth, dubbed Ultima Thule, a Latin phrase meaning a distant, unknown region. It is the most distant fly-by in history, and it is believed the data New Horizons gathers will shed new light on the solar system's early days. Chris Lintott reports from the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to bring the latest news and pictures from this extraordinary mission.

29 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:03

    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Beecham

    At The Castle Gate From Pelleas and Melisande (The Sky At Night) (1955)


Role Contributor
Presenter Chris Lintott
Presenter Pete Lawrence
Executive Producer Steve Crabtree
Presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock


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