Dr. Alan Stern is currently the principal investigator of the New Horizons NASA mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. The Yuri’s Night team was very impressed by the work of Alan and his team and their efforts to share their mission with the world. Alan gathered a team of top-notch scientists and engineers to collect data during the weeks and months that the spacecraft approached Pluto and the same group did a great job initiating outreach efforts to explain their mission to the public.
Besides his work with New Horizons, Alan is being honored for his work to found a number of startup companies and events working to get the public involved in spaceflight and space science like World View Enterprises, the Golden Spike Copany, the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, and Uwingu.
We are happy to name Alan Stern as the winner of the 2015 Spirit of Yuri’s Night award, the highest honor that can be given by the Yuri’s Night Executive Team. Awarded once each year, the Spirit of Yuri’s Night award recognizes “a person or persons that embody the Yuri’s Night mission of using space and art to contribute to the future of humanity, both in space and on Earth.”
Upon learning that he would be awarded the Spirit of Yuri’s Night award, Alan said “Yuri’s Night celebrates the birth of human spaceflight and the first time any human left earth’s cradle for space. But it represents even more than that for me. It also represents the worldwide excitement about human spaceflight and the belief that spaceflight of all kinds will be a fundamental part of the future of human society.” You can watch his full acceptance in the video below.
We want to thank Alan for being a longtime supporter of Yuri’s Night (he recorded videos for Yuri’s Night in 2010, 2011, & 2012!). If you missed Yuri’s Night’s live webcast with the New Horizons team members on Yuri’s Night 2015, you can still check it out on our YouTube channel. Thanks to Alan for helping Yuri’s Night connect to an active space mission in our efforts to promote spaceflight worldwide and we wish his team good luck as they continue to receive data from the New Horizons spacecraft in the Kuiper Belt.
Learn more about the New Horizons mission and view the latest science updates at pluto.jhuapl.edu .