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A composite of images obtained during the approach of New Horizons to Pluto (NASA)
If you wanted to design and fly a robotic spacecraft on a 9-year voyage 3 billion miles from Earth, the farthest journey of exploration our species has ever attempted, how would you do it?
On July 14, 2015, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons soared past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focused its instruments on the long-mysterious icy worlds of the planet’s system and then, just as quickly, continued its journey into the beyond.
New Horizon’s odyssey to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt was the first of its kind in a generation, completing the Space-Age reconnaissance of the planets that started 50 years earlier. Astrobiologist David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, tells the inside story of the men and women whose decades-long commitment and persistence made the historic accomplishment happen.
Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto (Picador), which he co-authored with mission leader Alan Stern, is available for sale and signing.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)