NASA Mission Principal Investigator Visits UCF Science Café

Dr. Alan Stern

Florida Space Institute’s Dr. Alan Stern will be the featured guest as part UCF’s Science Café’s Special Summer Edition as he shares his experience as the principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto on Monday, June 1.

His presentation, titled “Encountering Pluto: New Horizons Mission,” will highlight images from the spacecraft, New Horizons, as it approaches its closest encounter with the distant planet in mid-July. New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft ever launched by NASA, and it has already captured images with its Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager of Pluto and its moons at resolutions higher than the most powerful telescopes on Earth.

Stern is the chief scientific officer of Florida Space Institute, and has been working with the Southwest Research Institute on the New Horizons project. The mission was launched back on Jan. 19, 2006 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and it remains the first project to explore worlds at the edge of the solar system.

The spacecraft will begin a five-month long reconnaissance flyby of Pluto and its moons during this summer. The closest encounter with the planet is expected on July 14, 2015.

Networking for this event begins at 6:30 p.m.; the presentation is scheduled to start from 7 to 8:20 p.m. RSVP is requested in order to prepare for food and drinks.

To RSVP, visit

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