Lunar and Planetary Institute

Remembering the New Horizons Pluto Flyby

July 20, 2020

Remembering the New Horizons Pluto Flyby

Senior Staff Scientist Dr. Paul Schenk, a NASA New Horizons Geology and Geophysics Investigation team member, is featured in the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab's Pluto Perspective commemorating the fifth anniversary of New Horizon's historic flyby on July 14, 2015. To celebrate the realization of years of hard work, persistence, and innovation by the team, several team members share their memories of this momentous success.

Dr. Schenk describes the moment Pluto's “heart” was revealed.

“Back in our work center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, we waited for the images to crawl onto the screens; several of us worked to see who could get them first off the “pipeline” that carried them from the New Horizons science and mission operations centers. Then, bamm! There it was - the center of Pluto's “heart” (what would be named Sputnik Planitia) right where it was supposed to be. We immediately got swept into the debate of trying to figure out what we were looking at but those moments of discovery remain in our memories.”

For more information, visit:
The Pluto Perspective: Memories of an Amazing Encounter

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