The Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology
RASC Edmonton Centre
Dr Alan Stern
Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission to Pluto
The Keynote Speaker opening the 2015 Space Exploration Symposium
The Exploration of the Pluto System
New Horizons is NASA’s historic mission to explore the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006 and made the first exploration of the Pluto system this year, culminating with a highly successful flyby inside the orbits of all five of Pluto’s moons on 14 July 2015. The spacecraft carries sophisticated a sophisticated payload of imagers and other scientific instruments that were used to revolutionize our knowledge of Pluto and its five moons. Dr Stern will describe the history of this mission, the science behind it, the capabilities of payload, our encounter with planet Pluto, and the major scientific discoveries made to date. He will also briefly outline the extended mission to fly across the Kuiper Belt.