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Hubble finds potential KBO targets for New Horizons
Posted: Mon, Oct 20, 2014, 8:48 AM ET (1248 GMT)
Kuiper Belt Object candidate for New Horizons illus. (NASA) Astronomers have discovered three Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that could be potential targets for the New Horizons mission after it flies past Pluto next year. The KBOs, with estimated sizes of 25 to 55 kilometers across, are within range of New Horizons given its trajectory and fuel supply. A flyby of any of those objects would take place late in the decade, and require NASA approval of an extended mission. The New Horizons mission team had been looking for several for a KBO to visit after the its July 2015 Pluto flyby, but groundbased searches failed to turn up any candidates. An extensive search by Hubble discovered the three KBOs.
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