Well get ready for another bout of excitement, because NASA has greenlit New Horizons’ next target: a lump of rock out in the Kuiper Belt called 2014 MU69. And don’t worry if you’re still exhausted from last year’s Pluto-brations (or the Juno mission’s orbital insertion happening this July 4th). New Horizons isn’t scheduled to rendezvous with 2014 MH69 until January 1st, 2019, so you have plenty of time to get ready. Because what better way is there to spend your New Years’ hangover than sitting in the dark and waiting for a space probe five and a half billion miles away to send a few squawks home confirming that it passed its target successfully?
But wait, you ask. Doesn’t this 2014 MU69 character sound familiar? It should. Nineties kids will remember that in season three of Big Bad Beetleborgs, a cyborg monster called 2014 MU69 kidnaps Flabber, leading Drew, Jo, and Roland on a wild chase through the Hillhurst suburbs. Just kidding, everyone knows that show only had two seasons. 2014 MU69 should really only sound familiar to Pluto-heads who were paying attention last August when NASA first announced the Kuiper Belt object as New Horizons’ next target. So what is new? Well, this is NASA just doubling down, saying ithas allotted funding to the mission. Yay, money!