August 22, 2014

New Horizons Event: Crossing Neptune’s Orbit, Continuing Voyager’s Legacy of Exploration

On Aug. 25, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft passes the orbit of Neptune, its last orbit crossing before beginning its historic exploration of Pluto in January 2015. By a celestial mechanics coincidence, the crossing occurs on the exact 25th anniversary of the Voyager 2 spacecraft’s encounter with Neptune in 1989. To commemorate Voyager’s achievements and the future discoveries of New Horizons, NASA will hold a two-part science event for the public to learn about the New Horizons mission and the spacecraft connection to Voyager’s historic visit to Neptune.

Media and the public are invited to attend the events on Monday, Aug. 25, from 1-3 p.m. (EDT) in the Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW in Washington.  The program will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website,

The 1-2 p.m. event will feature a panel discussion with:

  • Jim Green, director, NASA Planetary Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
  • Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado

The 2-3 p.m. event will include several New Horizons science team members giving personal accounts of their work during the Voyager Neptune encounter and their new assignments on the Pluto mission. Panel participants include:

  • Moderator: David Grinspoon, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona
  • Fran Bagenal, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Bonnie Buratti, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • Jeffrey Moore, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
  • John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado

Media can ask questions from participating NASA locations, or by telephone. To participate by phone, reporters must contact Steve Cole at (202) 358-0918 or and provide their media affiliation by noon Monday.

Media and the public can also ask questions via social media using #askNASA.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For more information about New Horizons on the Internet, visit: