NASA is inviting media to cover the farthest spacecraft flyby in history on Jan. 1, 2019, when the agency’s New Horizons spacecraft encounters the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Flyby events will take place from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 at the base of New Horizons operations, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and mysterious small objects orbiting beyond Neptune. This region also is known as the “third zone” of our solar system, beyond the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants.

Media who wish to cover the activities at APL must apply for accreditation with the APL Public Affairs Office no later than Dec. 14. Media planning to attend mission activities during the holiday, Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, are welcome to bring family members to APL as guests. More information is provided on the web application.

To apply, visit:

Media activities and opportunities at APL include:

Saturday, Dec. 29: APL mission operations and science operations centers tours; opportunity to gather b-roll footage of critical working areas that will be closed to media and the public the following day and throughout flyby activities.

Sunday, Dec. 30: Media center opens; possible media briefing on mission status and timelines.

Monday, Dec. 31: Final approach to Ultima Thula, with media briefing on mission status and latest approach images. Team member presentations on mission science and operations.

Wednesday Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 4, 2019: Daily briefings and/or media availabilities to discuss spacecraft status, new images and data/findings.

A detailed list of media events and coverage will be released at a later date.

For more information on the New Horizons mission, including fact sheets, schedules, video and images, visit:

Follow the New Horizons mission on Twitter and use the hashtag #ultimaflyby to join the conversation. Live updates will be available on the mission Facebook page.