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Pluto Flyby Lead, Planetary Scientists to Discuss Discoveries at Hearing

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Friday, July 24, 2015

Washington, D.C. On TUESDAY at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing in recognition of recent planetary science successes and the importance of continued exploration.

Chairman Lamar Smith: "The photos and the data which we are retrieving as a result of the New Horizons Pluto flyby mission continue to amaze and inspire the scientific community and the public. They are sure to lead to more questions and the hope of future missions. I very much look forward to continuing these conversations with NASA experts and New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern at the upcoming House Science Committee hearing on July 28th."

In addition to New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, the hearing will feature NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Dr. John Grunsfeld, and experts on the Dawn and Europa missions. The hearing will feature some of the newest images of Pluto to be publicly released to date. Only approximately 5 percent of the total images and data have been received from the New Horizons spacecraft so far; it will take 16 months to receive all data.

Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin: "The success of the New Horizons spacecraft and its recent Pluto flyby mission has captivated the imagination of the American people and the world, while also reenergizing the curiosity about what lies beyond Earth. This hearing will shed light on the mission, the discoveries and our next steps for exploration missions."

The Science Committee's NASA Authorization Act for FY16 and FY17 restored funds the Obama administration proposed cutting from planetary science budgets. This would bring parity between NASA's science accounts and allow for development of missions like New Horizons to continue at the current pace.

Tuesday's hearing will shine a light on the successes of New Horizons mission and provide an update on the progress of other missions.

WHAT: Hearing on Exploration of the Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond
WHEN: TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. ET
WHERE: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.

Witnesses:

Dr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA
Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator, New Horizons Mission, Southwest Research Institute
Dr. Christopher Russell, Principal Investigator, Dawn Mission; Professor of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California Los Angeles
Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Study Scientist, Europa Mission Concept, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Dr. Robert Braun, David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology

For more information on the hearing, including the hearing charter and a link to the LIVE webcast, visit the Committee website.

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