Pluto-bound spacecraft faces a threat from the solar system’s smallest planet.
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Officials at NASA say a Pluto-bound spacecraft could face a barrage of small Kuiper objects that may tear apart the billion-dollar spacecraft before it reaches its target near the outer edge of the solar system.
In a study released by the U.S. space agency, officials say they are now adjusting the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft, which is likely to face “shards from collisions between [Pluto’s moons] and small Kuiper objects.” Scientists warn that the spacecraft could face small shards of rock that may leave the spacecraft pocketed and riddled with holes that could jeopardize one of NASA’s most ambitious missions.