Pluto Mission Scientists Present At Windward CC Hōkūlani Imaginarium

PlutoPalooza banner with PlutoPalooza words and drawing of Pluto

Scientists who worked on the New Horizons probe that conducted a six-month flyby of Pluto and its moons will be giving a special presentation at Windward Community College’s Hōkūlani Imaginarium on Thursday, March 8, 5-7:30 p.m. PlutoPalooza is a fast-paced, talk-style evening featuring a talented team of scientists that collaborated on the probe.

The mission team members will share their own unique efforts and career talks at the Hōkūlani Imaginarium while the probe continues to travel through space. The scientists will discuss the past mission and speak on the future of space exploration. The New Horizon mission continues as the probe moves on for a New Year’s Day 2019 flyby of a mysterious object in the Kuiper Belt.

Mission team scientists

  • Mark Buie, New Horizons co-investigator with Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Pluto has been a major focus of his research since 1983. Buie also has a project known as and is enlisting students to help measure the sizes of other objects in the Kuiper Belt.
  • Alice Bowman, New Horizons “Missions Operations Manager” also known as MOM, works at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. She leads the team that controls the spacecraft now about 3.7 billion miles from Earth.
  • Veronica Bray is a research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Her expertise in comparative planetology has been important to the geology and geophysics section of the New Horizons team.
  • Kerri Beisser is a program manager for the space department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She was a program manager for NASA’s Cassini, STARDUST and Galileo missions.
  • Randy Monroe is a middle school science teacher. He is a longtime member of the New Horizons education team.

The program is brought to Windward CC through a special partnership with Bishop Museum.

PlutoPalooza information

Windward CC


  • Adult: $10
  • Youth (4-17): $7
  • Child (under 4): Free
  • Windward CC Students with ID: $7

Visitors can make reservations and obtain tickets via credit card at Bishop Museum, (808) 847-3511 or call Windward CC, (808) 235-7433, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. to reserve tickets.

PlutoPalooza admission fee includes the one-hour scientists talk and a planetarium show experience. The event will last a little more than 2 hours. The program is appropriate for all ages and levels of space enthusiasts.

Bishop Museum

There is another evening planetarium offering on Friday, March 9, at Bishop Museum on Friday, March 9, 6:30–8:30 p.m. For ticket information, contact Bishop Museum at (808) 847-3511.

For more information about this special presentation, contact Windward CC Imaginarium Manager Dineene OʻConnor at (808) 235-7350 or email

—By Bonnie Beatson