2 mins read 07 Nov 2019

New Horizons: Mission to Pluto & the Kuiper Belt

7 Nov 2019 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM
Questacon, Canberra

Astounding discoveries in the far frontiers of our solar system by a tiny robotic spacecraft revealing the worlds Pluto and Ultima Thule.


Alice Bowman, the New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM), talks about the voyage of NASA’s historic mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt - which culminated with the first flight past the distant dwarf planet on July 14, 2015 and the first encounter with a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) on January 1, 2019.

Alice will speak about this continuing journey through the eyes of the APL mission operations team and describe some of the technical, scientific, and personal challenges of piloting the New Horizons spacecraft across the solar system on its voyage to the farthest reaches of the planetary frontier.

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Presented by the Canberra Deep Space Network (Canberra DSN).

Tile image credit: NASA Creative Commons


Alice Bowman is a member of the Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. She is the Space Mission Operations Group supervisor and the NASA New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM). She supervises approximately 50 staff members who operate deep space and Earth-orbiting spacecraft, including NASA’s TIMED, STEREO, New Horizons, and Parker Solar Probe. As the New Horizons MOM, Alice leads the team that controls the spacecraft that made a historic flyby of the Pluto system in July 2015. And on New Year’s 2019, just after midnight, New Horizons made history again with a flight past the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule – the most distant flyby ever conducted, 4 billion miles from Earth. Prior to operating spacecraft, she worked in the fields of computer modeling, drug research and long-wave detector research.

Alice has a degree in chemistry and physics from the University of Virginia and has more than 30 years of experience in space operations. She is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has served on the International SpaceOps Committee since 2009.

Getting There

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
King Edward Terrace
Parkes, ACT 2600

Tickets are available through the events management platform, Eventbrite