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New Horizons isn't going to get much of a rest. Following its historic flyby of Pluto on July 14, NASA has selected the next potential destination for the unmanned spacecraft – a planetoid called 2014 MU69 that lies a billion miles beyond Pluto's orbit.

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2014 MU69: Next Target for New HorizonsThis diagram shows the projected route of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft toward 2014 MU69, orbiting in the Kuiper Belt about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

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Planetary scientist Alan Stern continues his exclusive S&T blogs with details of what awaits the New Horizons spacecraft when it reaches its next objective.

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Artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt. NASA announced today (Aug. 28, 2015) that it has selected 2014 MU69 as its first choice for the probe's secondary mission.

Hubble’s discovery of two new moons of Pluto, mapping seasonal changes to Pluto’s surface. Hubble discovery that Eris is 27 percent more massive than Pluto helped demote Pluto to dwarf planet status.

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After its historic flyby of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is on its way to rendezvous with a tiny, icy Kuiper Belt object.

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from Science News

Life after Pluto: New Horizons to head for Kuiper belt boulder

The New Horizons spacecraft has a second target in the Kuiper belt: an icy boulder dubbed 2014 MU69.

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