The Exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons (Flyer)
PI, NASA’s New Horizons Mission / Southwest Research Institute
New Horizons is NASA’s historic mission to explore the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. The fastest spacecraft ever launched, New Horizons left Earth on 19 January 2006. It made the first exploration of the Pluto system—3 billion miles from Earth—last summer, culminating with a highly successful flyby inside the orbits of all five of Pluto’s moons on July 14th. Dr. Stern will describe the history of the mission, the encounter with planet Pluto, and the major scientific discoveries made to date, and the public reaction to the flyby.