New Horizons is NASA’s historic mission to explore the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. The fastest spacecraft ever launched, the New Horizons left Earth on 19 January 2006. It made the first exploration of the Pluto system—3 billion miles from Earth—this year, culminating with a highly successful flyby inside the orbits of all five of Pluto’s moons on July 14th. The spacecraft carries a sophisticated payload of imagers and other scientific instruments that were used to revolutionize our knowledge of Pluto and its five moons. PI Stern will describe the history of this mission, the science behind it, the capabilities of the payload, our encounter with planet Pluto, and the major scientific discoveries made to date. He will also briefly outline the proposed New Horizons extended mission to fly across the Kuiper Belt, exploring further into space
Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1402.