Hi, I am Alan Stern, head of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on its way to explore Pluto this year. Today is the anniversary of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh’s birthday back in 1906. Ask us anything about plans for the Pluto encounter and the his...
----Thanks for all the great questions everyone! We have to head off to meetings to continue planning for the exploration of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons– but it has been great fun answering all of your questions. We will come back and update you closer to the flyby! Keep up with the discoveries at the websites below, and on Twitter - @NewHorizons2015. -----
Hello Reddit. We’re here to answer anything about plans for NASA’s New Horizons mission Pluto encounter and the history of Pluto’s discovery and exploration. The mission’s closest approach to Pluto will occur on July 14th, 2015, but encounter operations have already begun!
Proof: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zkg4b1y5tugnxum/AMA-2-Photo.jpg?dl=0 - c.f. Alan Stern’s Wiki Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Stern
• Dr. Alan Stern: Principal Investigator of New Horizons
• Dr. Curt Niebur: NASA Headquarters Program Scientist for New Horizons
• Dr. Cathy Olkin: Director of Office of the PI, Deputy Project Scientist, Co-PI on Ralph Instrument, Mission Science Team Member
• Dr. Leslie Young: Deputy Project Scientist, Pluto Encounter Planning Lead, Mission Science Team Member
• Dr. Marc Buie: Kuiper Belt Object Search, Hazard Analysis, and Mission Science Team Member
• Dr. Michael Vincent: Payload Systems Engineer
• Dr. Kelsi Singer: Mission Science Team Postdoctoral Researcher
The New Horizons spacecraft is about to flyby Pluto, 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ in 1930. Humankind is about to get high-resolution pictures and many other kinds of data on Pluto for the first time, and we want everyone to share in our journey of discovery!
Some good Pluto and New Horizons resources to read are:
• Why is Pluto so interesting?
• More about the spacecraft mission – and see a cool new video of Charon orbiting Pluto – taken by the spacecraft http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
• Countdown to Pluto Encounter! http://www.seeplutonow.com/
• The current best maps of Pluto http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/06/