NASA spacecraft dashes by world beyond Pluto

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has survived humanity’s most distant exploration of another world.

Ten hours after the middle-of-the-night encounter 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away, flight controllers in Laurel, Maryland, received word from the spacecraft late Tuesday morning. Cheers erupted at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, home to Mission Control.

An anxious spill-over crowd in a nearby auditorium joined in the loud celebration.

New Horizons zoomed past the small celestial object known as Ultima Thule 3 ½ years after its spectacular brush with Pluto. Scientists say it will take nearly two years for New Horizons to beam back all its observations of Ultima Thule, a full billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto. At that distance, it takes six hours for the radio signals to reach Earth.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.