New Horizons Flyby Target ‘2014 MU69’ Now Officially Named ‘Arrokoth’


The Humble Scot!
May 19, 2009
NASA’s New Horizons mission started making history the moment it launched. The probe set a record as the fastest (at the time) launch in history, and eight years later it became the first spacecraft to visit Pluto. More recently, New Horizons took a look at a small Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69. Now, NASA has announced that object has a new name. It’s “Arrokoth,” a Native American term that means “sky” in the Powhatan and Algonquian languages.

New Horizons was conceived and built to get a closer look at Pluto. At the time of its launch, Pluto was the ninth planet in the solar system. Although, it was demoted to dwarf planet while New Horizons was en route. That didn’t make the eventual flyby of Pluto any less momentous, though. New Horizons revealed a complex landscape with frozen fields of nitrogen ice and mountains of water ice. It even has clouds.

Because New Horizons was moving so fast, it couldn’t slow down and enter a stable orbit around Pluto. NASA took that as an opportunity to study other objects in the outer solar system, though. While New Horizons was on its way to Pluto, NASA identified several possible secondary targets including 2014 MU69. The NASA team nicknamed it Ultima Thule — Thule being a mythical realm shown on medieval maps, and “ultima” meaning beyond. So, 2014 MU69 was beyond the unknown.



Executive Member
Jun 29, 2018
Do we need a whole new thread just because they named the object? See:

No ...or we'd need an infinite storage and lexicon to name every star, galaxy, cluster ,exotic object and molecular cloud structure in the Universe.