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A simulation of the Pluto flyby.
Spock, Kirk and Vader Crater also could be controversial, even though those science-fiction icons fit nicely within the IAU’s categories for features on Charon. During a series of interviews over the past month, Schulz voiced concern that some names may not be enduring enough to merit recognition. “We must be sure that a few generations after us, no one asks, ‘How could they name it for somebody no one knows?'” the Berliner Morgenpost quoted her as saying last week.
The IAU also wants to make sure the names on Pluto and its moons reflect a wide variety of the planet’s cultures, and not just Hollywood icons.
Does it matter what the IAU thinks? New Horizons’ principal investigator, Alan Stern, doesn’t think so. He has lambasted the organization for the way it treated Pluto, and got under the IAU’s skin by setting up informal naming systems for extrasolar planets and Martian craters. By some accounts, those dust-ups have added to the friction over New Horizons’ nicknames.
Uh, sorry, but you ask the average 20, 30, 40 or 50 year old who Styx, Charon, Nix & Kerberos were. I'll bet they can't tell you. But they can tell you who Spock, Kirk & Vader were.
Exactly. I didn't understand the roots of the month names until I read about them. I didn't start reading mythology until much later.
Modern myths vs. ancient ones. :)
Despite putting New Horizons on a course to explore a new world in the Kuiper Belt, the extended mission is not yet approved.— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) August 28, 2015
We have a healthy spaceship and a brand-new ancient ice-world to fly it to. Who wants to see this New Horizons extended mission happen?— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) August 28, 2015