Pluto Explorer Alan Stern to Address Mars Society Convention Banquet

The Mars Society is thrilled to announce that Dr. Alan Stern, a renowned planetary scientist and commercial astronaut, will be delivering an address at the Saturday evening banquet on August 10th during the 27th Annual International Mars Society Convention. The event will take place at the University of Washington (Seattle) from August 8-11, 2024. Dr. Stern’s talk, titled “The Other Red Planet,” will focus on exploring Pluto.

Dr. Stern is best known for his role as the principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission, which visited the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt—marking the farthest exploration of worlds in space to date. His distinguished career encompasses leadership or significant contributions to 30 suborbital, orbital, and planetary missions across the solar system.

His extensive research includes the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, comets, outer planet satellites, the Pluto system, and the quest for exoplanets. Dr. Stern has also delved into spacecraft rendezvous theory, terrestrial polar mesospheric clouds, galactic astrophysics, and studies of thin satellite atmospheres, including that of Earth’s Moon.

Named twice to Time’s list of the 100 most influential people (2007 and 2016), Dr. Stern added civilian astronaut to his accolades in 2023 by flying with Virgin Galactic. During this suborbital flight, he conducted a space physiology experiment and prepared for a future NASA suborbital experiment to observe celestial objects.

In addition to his scientific endeavors, Dr. Stern runs his own aerospace consulting practice, serving clients such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Ball Aerospace, Paragon Space Development Corporation, the NASTAR Center, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Johns Hopkins University. He is also an accomplished author, having co-authored books like “The U.S. Space Program After Challenger: Where Are We Going?” and “Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto.”

For more information about the 2024 International Mars Society Convention, including registration details for the four-day event and Saturday evening banquet, please visit: marssociety.org. Special ticket rates are available for seniors and students.