LAUREL, Md. (AP) — A tiny, icy world a billion miles beyond Pluto is getting a New Year’s Day visitor.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly past the mysterious orb nicknamed Ultima Thule at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday.

Maryland Lab Built, Controlling NASA Spacecraft’s Journey Past Pluto

It will be humanity’s most distant exploration of another world, coming 3 1/2 years after New Horizons’ swing past Pluto.

This time, the drama will unfold 4 billion miles from Earth, so far away it will be 10 hours before flight controllers know whether the spacecraft survived the encounter.

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