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Alan Stern (2015)

S. Alan Stern is an American planetary scientist. He is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express. Stern has been involved in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including eight for which he was the mission principal investigator. One of his projects was the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an instrument which flew on two space shuttle missions, STS-85 in 1997 and STS-93 in 1999. Stern has also developed eight scientific instruments for planetary and near-space research missions and has been a guest observer on numerous NASA satellite observatories, including the International Ultraviolet Explorer, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Infrared Observer and the Extreme Ultraviolet Observer. Stern was Executive Director of the Southwest Research Institute's Space Science and Engineering Division until becoming Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in 2007. He resigned from that position after nearly a year. In early 2009 Stern's name was mentioned as a potential contender for the position of NASA administrator under President Obama's administration.

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About the Alan Stern Interview

----Thanks for all the great questions everyone! We have to head off to meetings to continue planning for the exploration of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons– but it has been great fun answering all of your questions. We will come back and update you closer to the flyby! Keep up with the discoveries at the websites below, and on Twitter - @NewHorizons2015. -----

Hello Reddit. We’re here to answer anything about plans for NASA’s New Horizons mission Pluto encounter and the history of Pluto’s discovery and exploration. The mission’s closest approach to Pluto will occur on July 14th, 2015, but encounter operations have already begun!

Proof: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zkg4b1y5tugnxum/AMA-2-Photo.jpg?dl=0
- c.f. Alan Stern’s Wiki Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Stern

We are:

• Dr. Alan Stern: Principal Investigator of New Horizons

• Dr. Curt Niebur: NASA Headquarters Program Scientist for New Horizons

• Dr. Cathy Olkin: Director of Office of the PI, Deputy Project Scientist, Co-PI on Ralph Instrument, Mission Science Team Member

• Dr. Leslie Young: Deputy Project Scientist, Pluto Encounter Planning Lead, Mission Science Team Member

• Dr. Marc Buie: Kuiper Belt Object Search, Hazard Analysis, and Mission Science Team Member

• Dr. Michael Vincent: Payload Systems Engineer

• Dr. Kelsi Singer: Mission Science Team Postdoctoral Researcher

The New Horizons spacecraft is about to flyby Pluto, 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ in 1930. Humankind is about to get high-resolution pictures and many other kinds of data on Pluto for the first time, and we want everyone to share in our journey of discovery!

Some good Pluto and New Horizons resources to read are:

• Why is Pluto so interesting?

• More about the spacecraft mission – and see a cool new video of Charon orbiting Pluto – taken by the spacecraft

• Countdown to Pluto Encounter!

• The current best maps of Pluto

Alan Stern Feb 04, 2015