Just over a year to go before NASA’s New Horizons probe flies by Pluto, but that engagement is by now one of the big measures for Alan Stern, the researcher in charge of the $728 million mission. He’s also pressing for a discussion with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over Pluto’s planetary standing and for something entirely dissimilar, he’s even giving some thought to Father’s Day on June 15. Stern has several missions in the air that he occasionally appears more like a magician than a researcher. In count to his parts as New Horizons’ main investigator and a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, he aided to make Uwingu, a profitable venture concentrating on space education and research; the Golden Spike Company, which is scheduling private-sector moon missions; and the Suborbital Applications Research Group, which is serving scientists get ready for suborbital space readings. You can hear more about Stern’s juggling deed at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday in an hour-long chat on “Virtually Speaking Science.”
An artist’s impression of the external surface of Pluto’s ice-covered surface with its major moon, Charon, above its horizon [Credit:NASA]
Talking about development toward Pluto, the next pair of months will see an uptick in the New Horizons work, which plainly got off the ground back in 2006, before the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet, and is because of fly past Pluto on July 14, 2015. Stern, for its final checkout before next year’s meeting, told NBC News “We’re about to wake the spacecraft up”
After the weeks-long checkout, the probe will be put back into hibernation for the last time in August, with a boot up call set for December. On July 16, Stern and other personalities will give speeches on the Pluto mission at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. “It’s a kickoff to the ‘Year of Encounter,’” Stem said. Additional kickoff occasion will take place at NASA Headquarters on Aug. 25, the date when New Horizons is due to zoom past Neptune’s path. It’s also the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2′s Neptune flyby and Voyager mission researcher Ed Stone will be on hand.
More at: NBC NEWS
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