Pluto-Kuiper Express mission scuttled

PKEAfter four years of ballooning costs and launch weight, NASA brings work on the proposed Pluto-Kuiper Express mission to a stop, citing cost overruns and angering planetary scientists. The scientific community protests that, if a mission is not launched to reach Pluto by the year 2020, the tiny planet’s atmosphere will undergo a kind of reverse sublimation process, transitioning from a gas to a solid that rains down to Pluto’s surface. But with mission plans calling for a half-billion-dollar mission (originally budgeted for only $350 million), NASA pulls the plug, announcing that it will solicit new mission designs and plans from scientists around the world, even as advocates for the Pluto-Kuiper Express mission rally around the cancelled proposal.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed

  •'s timeline of over 5,000 events changes every day, juxtaposing science, science fiction, and pop culture for historical context (and for fun). Virtually every date on the timeline is verifiable and has been researched through public records, or through reliable published sources. More on that process here.

    The shows, movies, music, games and other items covered here, and all related characters and placenames, are the property of the originators of the respective intellectual properties. This site is not intended to infringe upon the rightsholders' copyright in any way. makes no attempt - in using the names described herein - to supercede the copyrights of the rightsholders, nor is any of this information officially sanctioned, licensed, or endorsed by the creators, writers or producers.