NASA, JHUAPL, SWRI, Steve Gribben
With Pluto checked off its bucket list, New Horizons is now speeding along to its next stop.
On November 4, the spacecraft completed the last of four engine burns designed to point it toward 2014 MU69, a primordial ball of ice deep in the Kuiper belt, the ring of frozen debris that stretches beyond Neptune.
With just 1.45 billion kilometers to go, New Horizons will zip past MU69 on January 1, 2019. That should give NASA plenty of time to formally approve the mission, which the New Horizons team will officially ask them to do in early 2016.