Pluto-Palooza With Nasa’s New Horizons Team!
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cosmosphere Grand Lobby
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by finding out all about the most famous heart in the solar system – on Pluto!
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear directly from members of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt!
A lively TED talk-style presentation will include stories from the mission’s scientists and stunning images from the spacecraft’s flight through the Pluto system. Since this is Valentine’s Day, the researchers will explain just how the spectacular giant heart on Pluto was formed, and why they think the dwarf planet is still geologically active despite being so far from the Sun.
This event is free to the public.
To find out more about Pluto and the New Horizons Mission, click here.
Coffee at the Cosmo: Pluto-Palooza
Thursday, February 15, 2018
9:00 – 10:00 AM
Cosmosphere’s Discovery Room
Offered every Third Thursday, this enriching continuing education program for life-long learners features entertaining, insightful presentations by Cosmosphere staff and visiting professionals who are experts in a variety of topics related to science and space. Free to the public, coffee and pastries are provided. Watch cosmo.org for topics.
Enjoy this free presentation: “Pluto-Palooza,” by special guest speakers from NASA’s New Horizons Mission to Pluto.
Cancelled due to cloud cover
Starry Night: Pluto-Palooza
11:00 am, February 15: Hello everyone, our educator’s have been watching the weather pretty closely today and unfortunately cloud cover is predicted for this evening. So it is with regret that we’ve decided to cancel this evening’s star observing at Hobart-Detter field.
We will definitely have more Starry Night’s in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming star observing!
The New Horizons team who will be on hand to share both the science and behind-the-scenes personal stories of the mission will be:
GLEN FOUNTAIN served as the Project Manager for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto from 2004 until 2016, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, MD. Glen received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 1965 and 1966, respectively. He was a key part of the small team that began developing a Pluto mission concept in early 2001, led the engineering team during the initial work, and recruited many of the key engineers who later developed the actual mission. After launch, Mr. Fountain oversaw all flight operations, including the successful science campaign at Jupiter in February 2007, and guided the tasks that carried the mission through eight more years of flight and the eventual historic encounter with Pluto in July 2015. He has received numerous NASA group achievement awards, and in 2007 received NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Award. In 2015 he was presented with the AIAA/Space X Award for Technical Excellence. Glen maintains a home in Arlington, KS.
KELSI SINGER is a Research Scientist in the Boulder office of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and a Co-Investigator on the New Horizons Geology and Geophysics team. Her research involves geological mapping of planetary surfaces, including the icy Moons of Jupiter and Saturn, Earth’s Moon, Pluto, and Charon. She studies many different geological features, including faults, impact craters, cryovolcanoes (ice volcanoes), and giant landslides. She joined New Horizons as a postdoctoral researcher in 2014 and is helping with observation planning for the upcoming encounter with the small Kuiper belt object known as “MU69.” Dr. Singer was part of the successful July 17th 2017 occultation campaign in Argentina which captured the small, faint shadow of MU69 as it passed in front of a distant star. (As mentioned previously, Kelsi lived in Topeka KS through 9th grade.)
JOEL PARKER is a Director in SwRI’s Boulder office, which is ground zero for the New Horizons science team. He started his astronomical life studying massive stars in other galaxies, but eventually brought his attention closer to home, using big telescopes on the ground and orbiting the Earth to observe the stuff that zips around our neighborhood: comets, asteroids, the Moon, and – of course – Pluto and its relatives in the Kuiper Belt. Joel is Project Manager of the spacecraft’s “Alice” spectrograph, which uses ultraviolet spectra for astronomical studies including analysis of the surfaces and atmospheres of Pluto and its Moons. He is a musician and actor, and a producer and host for the science show “How on Earth” on radio station KGNU in Boulder/Denver.
ALICE BOWMAN, the New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (“MOM”) at APL, leads the team that controls the spacecraft, now more than 3.7 billion miles from Earth. She’ll describe the teamwork, practice and resilience under pressure that has led to New Horizons’ continuing success. Her love of space exploration started as a child, saving newspaper clippings of the Moon landing and other planetary visits. She pursued a degree in Physics and Chemistry to satisfy her curiosity of figuring out how things work and how to fix them. Prior to her job operating spacecraft, she worked in the fields of computer modeling, drug research (at the California Institute of Technology), and long-wave detector research, in part for the Pentagon’s U.S. Space Command. In her time away from work, she and her husband lead a community jam session twice a month and play in a bluegrass band.