The Planetary Society Announces Media Resources for New Horizons Flyby of Ultima Thule

CEO Bill Nye makes enthusiastic video remarks, senior editor Emily Lakdawalla provides detailed overview

Media Advisory
December 19, 2018

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is poised to make exploration history. As 2019 begins, it will fly past 2014 MU69, the most distant world ever explored, a relic of the formation of the solar system in the outer part of the Kuiper belt.

Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, sent an enthusiastic congratulations to the spacecraft via video in anticipation of its New Year flyby:

“Happy New Year, New Horizons spacecraft! You are about to fly by Ultima Thule, what we used to call 2014 MU69. It’s an object way, way out in the solar system in the Kuiper belt. We’re going to learn more about those objects and about the origin of the solar system and where you and I came from. What a way to start the new year! Way to go, New Horizons! Snap those photos!”

Media Resources

The Planetary Society is pleased to provide information, expert analysis, and resources to journalists for this unique event.


Please contact Danielle Gunn, chief communications officer, to arrange an interview at [email protected]

Emily Lakdawalla, senior editor and planetary evangelist, has created a guide to follow New Horizons’ flyby. She is available for interviews.

Heidi Hammel, executive vice president of AURA, Inc, and vice president of The Planetary Society’s Board of Directors, will be onsite at the Applied Physics Laboratory and is available for interviews.

Mat Kaplan, host of Planetary Radio, has welcomed New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern to his show many times, and has interviewed other members of the mission team.  Mat is a frequent moderator for public space science conversations. He will be onsite at the Applied Physics Laboratory and is available for interviews.


What to Expect When New Horizons Visits 2014 MU69, Ultima Thule by Emily Lakdawalla, which includes a detailed timeline of the anticipated events at Ultima Thule

'Everything about this flyby is tougher': New Horizons just over 100 days from Ultima Thule by Jason Davis, digital editor


Images related to New Horizons and its flyby targets can be found in The Planetary Society’s Bruce Murray Space Image Library — a unique collection of photos and videos from the world’s space agencies, as well as artwork, diagrams, and amateur-processed space images, many of which are not available elsewhere.

Additional Video

The Planetary Society at the Pluto Encounter
Footage taken on 14 July 2015 at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory during New Horizons’ historic Pluto encounter; includes Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and senior editor Emily Lakdawalla celebrating the encounter and congratulating the New Horizons mission team.


Chasing New Horizons to Pluto with Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
Audio interview from Planetary Radio with Mat Kaplan

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit