'Ice' Congratulates 'Fire' on a Successful Mercury Flyby

Press Release From: Iowa State University
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt exploration team sends hearty congratulations to its colleagues on the MESSENGER mission, who orchestrated an historic flyby of the planet Mercury on Jan. 14. From one mission of pioneering exploration to another, congratulations to the MESSENGER team! says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

The New Horizons and MESSENGER spacecraft  both built and operated by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland  make up NASAs Fire and Ice tandem, set out to explore the extreme frontiers of the solar system. New Horizons is two years into its decade-long voyage to Pluto and the frozen, rocky environs of the distant Kuiper Belt. Headed in the opposite direction, MESSENGER will be the first spacecraft to orbit the Suns closest planetary neighbor.

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New Horizons is the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt beyond. Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of NASA Headquarters, leads a mission team that includes the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, Ball Aerospace Corporation, the Boeing Company, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford University, KinetX, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, University of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a number of other firms, NASA centers and university partners. For more information on the mission, visit

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