The Pluto flyby press kit should be published soon; in the meantime, the Mission Guide at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Participate/teach/Resources.php and the information below should be useful to you as you field questions from your visitors and students and plan your Pluto events:
NASA TV (also streamed on Internet)
(Schedule is updated daily, so check it with your morning cup of java)
Weekly Broadcasts: Countdown to Pluto
June 23 – 11:30 am EDT – Encounter Plans/Design
June 30 – 11:30 am EDT – Pluto Science
Daily Broadcasts will begin in July – stay tuned for schedule
New Horizons e-News
New Horizons Fact Sheet
Key Points: Space Missions and Exploration
Farthest, Fastest, First: New Horizons is the fastest space mission ever launched; will travel the farthest distance to reach its primary target; and is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. It is also the first mission since 1989 to an unexplored planet; first mission to explore a double planet; first to explore an ice dwarf; first planetary mission to carry a student-built instrument; and the first principal investigator-led outer planets mission.
Exploration Bookends: We first explored Mars (with Mariner IV) exactly 50 years, to the day, before New Horizons flies past Pluto. New Horizons will complete the first reconnaissance of the solar system’s classical planets.
High-Tech Exploration: New Horizons is a miniaturized, low-power breakthrough in robotic exploration—the most powerful, yet smallest, first reconnaissance spacecraft ever built. It’s the smartphone of spacecraft; a model for showing young engineers how cool developing technology for space can be.
Flying into the Unknown: New Horizons could be struck by debris in the Pluto system as it flies past the planet and its moons. The mission team will search for it and react if needed, but in the end can’t know all the dangers awaiting this lone, plucky spacecraft. The analysis of hazards New Horizons may face and the decision to send it on an alternative path (or not) comprise “seven weeks of suspense” leading up to the first post-encounter contact with New Horizons on July 15, 2015.
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