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. New Horizons zoomed past the small celestial object known as Ultima Thule 3 1/2 years after its spectacular brush with Pluto.
Queen guitarist Brian May, who also happens to be an astrophysicist, joined the team at Johns Hopkins for a midnight premiere of the song he wrote for the big event.