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The Last First Planetary Mission (Audio)

​The New Horizons spacecraft brought humanity face to face with the last unexplored planet in our solar system: Pluto. What we're learning is amazing. But, time and again, the mission almost didn't happen. University of Texas at Austin alumnus Alan Stern describes the challenges, and the joys, of the last first mission to a planet.


Alan Stern will be in Austin this Friday (Sep. 16 @ 7:00pm CT) for the Hot Science - Cool Talks series. The seats are already booked up, but you can watch online live (or archived later) at: "The Amazing Mission to Pluto: Three Billion Miles and We Made It!"

Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this approximate true color picture taken by the New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015. Image credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.

View "New Horizons' Top 10 Pluto Pics"

Alan Stern Bio

Alan Stern holds bachelor's degrees in physics and astronomy as well as master's degrees in aerospace and civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He earned a doctorate in astrophysics and planetary science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Stern is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission and a vice president for the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Colorado. Stern has received the 2016 Carl Sagan Memorial Award, the 2015 Neil Armstrong Space Flight Achievement Award and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. He was also recognized as one of Time's "100 Most Influential People" in 2007, then again in 2016.

About Point of Discovery

Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen via iTunes, iTunes U, RSS, Stitcher or Google Play. Questions or comments about this episode or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

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