Launched January 19, 2006, the New Horizons mission had one goal as it ventured into the solar system – answer questions about Pluto, its moons and Kuiper Belt objects. Fast forward 9.5 years and over 5 billion kilometres, on July 14, 2015, New Horizons flew 12,500 km above the surface of Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. From mountains to moons and flowing ices on Pluto, the discoveries so far have been amazing.
What new puzzles will New Horizons solve before the mission ends? Come and hear the story of recent science discoveries and the upcoming excitement as New Horizons heads towards the Keiper belt.
NASA’s New Horizons mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Dr. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is the principal investigator. SwRI is responsible for science payload operations, data reduction and archiving, and participates in the science team.