New Horizons is a very high-tech, small, roughly 1,000-pound spacecraft with the most powerful battery of scientific instrumentation ever brought to bear on a first reconnaissance mission.

Alan Stern

Alan Stern

Profession: Engineer
Nationality: American

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Even in our deep ocean, there are ecosystems at work with no light whatsoever down in the deepest portions of the oceanic abyss.

Either data supports the observations or they don't. Voting doesn't work in science.

I think that one of the things that will come out of the New Horizons mission is that the public will take a look, and they won't know what else to call Pluto but a planet - and a pretty exciting one.

You could not have predicted the amazing discoveries at Pluto, even though we have been to a couple of objects in the solar system that were at least a little analogous to Pluto.

In the mind of the public, the word 'planet' carries a significance lacking in other words used to describe planetary bodies... many members of the public assume that alleged 'non-planets' cease to be interesting enough to warrant scientific exploration.

Liquids may have existed on the surface of Pluto in the past.

I think if you were between maybe 6 and 16, there was nothing like Apollo, and I wonder if there can be something like that again. We'll just have to see.

Discovering that our solar system has many more planets than we ever expected, and that most of them are ice dwarfs rather than like Earth and the other rocky terrestrials, is just another step in the revolution in viewpoint that removed the Earth from the center of the physical universe and makes Earth all the more special.

If the Pluto mission was a cat, then it would've been dead long ago because they only get nine lives, and we've had significantly more than nine stoppages and odd twists and turns.

During one of the Apollo missions, I saw Walter Cronkite showing off the flight plan. It just mesmerized me. All this detail! That's what I wanted.

A miniature poodle is not not a dog just because it's miniature.

I actually started my career in planetary science with a master's thesis on Pluto.

Every mission has life-or-death moments.

In science, we take large numbers of disparate facts and reduce them to see patterns. We use the patterns to reduce the amount of information. It's the reason we name species and genera and families in biology. It's also the reason we have names for certain types of geological features and so on in other fields.