Mission seeks to explore Pluto-Charon



The New Horizons project of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration sponsored a Pluto-Charon workshop last spring to review the latest advances in the science of the Pluto-Kuiper Belt (PKB), to hear predictions about the Pluto-Charon encounter, and to discuss new ideas for supporting ground-based and Earth-orbital observations. Currently awaiting approval to proceed to hardware implementation, the New Horizons mission will launch in January 2006, do a Jupiter swing-by in March 2007, and visit Pluto in the fall of 2015. It will then visit up to three Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). (More information on the New Horizons mission, Pluto, and the Kuiper Belt can be found in a recent Eos article, 5 March 2002, pp. 101,108-109).