Click the image for a larger version. On 03 April 2017 New Horizon’s reached the halfway point in distance between Pluto and KBO MU69 and today 07 April 2017 at 21:24 UTC (or 5:24 p.m. ET) — New Horizons will also reach the halfway point in time between closest approaches to Pluto, which occurred at 7:48 a.m. ET on July 14, 2015, and MU69, predicted for 2 a.m. ET on New Year’s Day 2019.
New Horizons is traveling at 51,500 kmh / 32,000 mph. On 03 April the spacecraft had 782.45 million km / 486.2 million miles from where they think MU69 will be when they get there.
A KBO among the Stars: In preparation for the New Horizons flyby of 2014 MU69 on Jan. 1, 2019, the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) took a series of 10-second exposures of the background star field near the location of its target Kuiper Belt object (KBO). This composite image is made from 45 of these 10-second exposures taken on Jan. 28, 2017. The yellow diamond marks the predicted location of MU69 on approach, but the KBO itself was too far from the spacecraft (544 million miles, or 877 million kilometers) even for LORRI’s telescopic “eye” to detect. New Horizons expects to start seeing MU69 with LORRI in September of 2018 — and the team will use these newly acquired images of the background field to help prepare for that search on approach. — Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI