CheshireCatCO writes: "NASA announced on Thursday that it has selected Alan Stern's Pluto mission proposal, named New Horizons, for phase B study and (hopefully) eventual launch in 2006. Alan is himself one of the top experts on Pluto, and his team consists of many other leaders in the field. It should be a good mission, if only they get the money for it." CNN has a story with some background on the mission. NASA is having a hard time deciding whether the Pluto-Kuiper Express is actually going to launch or not.