Planetary scientist Alan Stern is counting down the days — just 365 of them now. He's spent the past 8 1/2 years waiting for the New Horizons spacecraft to make a close encounter with Pluto. Next year, on July 14, the spacecraft will reach its destination.
"Not only did we choose the date, by the way, we chose the hour and the minute. And we're on track," says Stern, the principal investigator for NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission.