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The New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission

Abstract

The central objective of the New Horizons prime mission was to make the first exploration of Pluto and its system of moons. Following that, New Horizons has been approved for its first extended mission, which has the objectives of extensively studying the Kuiper Belt environment, observing numerous Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Centaurs in unique ways, and making the first close flyby of the KBO 486958 2014 MU69. This review summarizes the objectives and plans for this approved mission extension, and briefly looks forward to potential objectives for subsequent extended missions by New Horizons.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NASA New Horizons funding. We thank two anonymous referees for close readings of this review and their many useful comments.

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Correspondence to S. A. Stern.

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Stern, S.A., Weaver, H.A., Spencer, J.R. et al. The New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended Mission. Space Sci Rev 214, 77 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-018-0507-4

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Keywords

  • NASA
  • New Horizons
  • Pluto
  • Kuiper Belt