Imagine shooting a BB at the Moon and hitting the exact pebble you were aiming for... at the bottom of a lunar crater. That's one way of describing NASA's New Horizons mission to the planet Pluto. Pluto is smaller than our own Moon and lies more than 3 billion miles away. And yet, in the summer of 2015, NASA was able to send its New Horizons spacecraft right past Pluto. The trip took nearly a decade. The story of how this happened -- and how it almost didn't happen -- is told in a new book: Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. To learn more, Kansas Public Radio's J. Schafer spoke to the authors -- planetary scientist Alan Stern and astrobiologist David Grinspoon.
Planetary scientist Alan Stern and astrobiologist David Grinspoon are co-authors of the book Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. They were speaking with KPR's J. Schafer.
Glen Fountain, who served as the project director for NASA's New Horizons mission (and who was mentioned toward the end of the interview above), grew up in Arlington, in western Reno County, Kansas. Learn more about him.
Production assistance for this interview was provided by KPR News Intern Taylor Smith, a junior from Salina, studying news and information at the University of Kansas.
Extended interview with Alan Stern and David Grinspoon