Today’s blog post is from Ross Beyer, a planetary scientist with the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He studies surface geomorphology, surface processes, remote sensing and photogrammetry of the solid bodies in our solar system.
I’ve always loved maps, and I’ve always loved planets and space, and the idea of exploring new places – so getting a doctorate in planetary sciences seemed to flow naturally from my interest in space, planets and exploring. My job as a research scientist, exploring the solar system vicariously through robotic spacecraft for the last two decades, has been a joy. But it wasn’t until later that I realized my work with planetary images was also connected to my love of maps. And all of these things have come together with my work on New Horizons.
This map of Pluto was made from all of the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) photos taken by New Horizons. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
After the February 2007 Jupiter flyby, I helped the mission team plan the Pluto encounter. New Horizons was going to fly through the Pluto system, as if the spacecraft was on a rail moving out from ...