**Courtesy of LSU Media Relations
BATON ROUGE – Award-winning engineer and planetary scientist S. Alan Stern, who leads NASA’s historic mission to explore Pluto, will give a free public talk on Friday, Sept. 2, at 2:00 p.m. in the LSU Hill Memorial Library. Stern is the principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission, which explores the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt, capturing never-before-seen images and video of the dwarf planet.
Stern’s presentation will include the history of the mission, the encounter with Pluto, the public reaction to the flyby and other major scientific achievements and discoveries made to date. New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft ever launched. It left Earth on Jan. 19, 2006, and reached the Pluto system 3 billion miles away on July 14, 2015.
A New Orleans native, Stern received his Ph.D. in astrophysics and planetary science from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is the associate vice president of research and development at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. This year, Time Magazine named him one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
Stern’s public talk is part of the Max Goodrich Distinguished Lecture Series.
The Exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons