Members of NASA’s New Horizons team will appear live on Facebook on Thursday, January 19, 2017, which is the 11th anniversary of the spacecraft’s launch. Speaking from New Horizons mission operations at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, they’ll be discussing the unprecedented Pluto encounter in 2015, for some of us likely the only spacecraft encounter with Pluto in our lifetimes. And they’ll be looking ahead to New Horizons’ next target, a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.
The Facebook Live event will start at 4 p.m. EST (21:00 UTC) on Thursday, January 19; translate to your time zone.
The conversation will cover a range of topics, including the top three findings from the spacecraft’s Pluto flyby and what New Horizons is doing on the way to its next science target.
Team members scheduled to appear:
* Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters
* Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator at Southwest Research Institute
* Glen Fountain, New Horizons (encounter) project manager at APL
* Kelsi Singer, New Horizons co-investigator at Southwest Research Institute
* Helene Winters, New Horizons project manager at APL
All data from New Horizons’ flight through the Pluto system in July 2015 has been transmitted safely to Earth, with the last bits arriving last fall. The team is still analyzing this historic set of images and other materials, while planning New Horizons’ coming encounter.
Bottom line: The New Horizons team will be discussing the historic Pluto encounter and the spacecraft’s next target in the Kuiper Belt – live on Facebook – beginning at at 4 p.m. EST (21:00 UTC).
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.