Dr. Alan Stern, head of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, tells the story behind the historic exploration of the "ninth planet" and the team guiding a small spacecraft on a voyage to the planetary frontier. Dr. Stern's talk was delivered during the Pluto Science Conference at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's Kossiakoff Center on 23 July 2013.
New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program of medium-class spacecraft exploration projects. Dr. Stern leads the mission and science team as principal investigator. APL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate and is operating the spacecraft in flight. The mission team also includes a number of other firms, NASA centers, and university partners.