David Grinspoon is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. His research focuses on comparative planetology, with a focus on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and implications for habitability. Grinspoon has published two books, Venus Revealed and Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life, the latter of which won the 2004 PEN literary award for non-fiction. He was appointed Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology for 2012/2013, and is currently an adjunct professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado.
The New Horizons mission was a triumph, revealing Pluto as an utterly unique and beautiful world. But the mission first had to survive challenge after challenge, fighting to be developed, meeting a nearly impossible launch deadline, and then narrowly avoiding disaster when it was barely a week from its destination.