Target: Grades 6-10
Length: 53 minutes 3 seconds
Internet: http://passporttoknowledge.com →
NASA's New Horizon's mission to Pluto launched on January 19, 2006. PASSPORT TO PLUTO goes behind the scenes to show the development and testing of the spacecraft, and the hard work of the scientists, engineers and support staff who worked for decades to make the mission possible. New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft ever launched from Earth, on board America's most powerful rocket, and is traveling the farthest distance to begin its primary mission of any NASA spacecraft. If all goes well it will reach Pluto and its giant moon, Charon - some 3 billion miles from Earth! - as early as 2015, and then travel on out into the Kuiper Belt, a previously unexplored region of the solar system, populated by "ice dwarf" worlds completely unlike the terrestrial and gas giant planets known through previous missions.
Participants in the program include principal investigator, Alan Stern, project scientists Hal Weaver and Leslie Young, as well as project manager Glen Fountain and members of the science team and mission operations teams. Highly-realistic mission animations created by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and visualizations of Pluto, Charon and the Kuiper Belt from some of Earth's leading space artists bring the mission and its science objectives to life. PASSPORT TO PLUTO is a comprehensive overview of one of the most unique and exciting missions of the Space Age.