On July 14th 2015, NASA's New Horizons
spacecraft will make the first-ever encounter with Pluto, its giant
moon Charon, and retinue of four smaller satellites, Styx, Nix,
Kerberos, and Hydra.
The Pluto system is unlike any place
previously explored, and promises a harvest of spectacular
Dr John Spencer will discuss the many
remarkable things that we already know about the Pluto system, the
long journey of New Horizons from conception to the launchpad and to
Pluto and beyond, and how we will use the spacecraft to revolutionize
our understanding of Pluto and its surroundings.
After the New Horizons flyby of Pluto in 2015,
and there will be enough gas in the spacecraft’s tank to fly toward at
least one and possibly two Kuiper Belt Objects in the distant outer
solar system. The expected date of the KBO flyby will be between 2016
and 2020, depending on the object chosen and its distance from Pluto.