Author of books for kids about wildlife, nature, space, weather, and more!

Mary Kay Carson


Mary Kay Carson

Author of books for kids about wildlife, nature, space, weather, and more!

Mission to Pluto

The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

Mary Kay Carson with photos by Tom Uhlman

In July of 2015 a robotic spacecraft reached Pluto after a nine-and-half-year journey. New Horizons is the first spacecraft mission to Pluto and revealed its five moons as never before seen. Images from the mission show a reddish surface covered in ice-water mountains, moving glaciers, and hints of possible ice volcanoes and an underground ocean. Pluto is geologically alive and changing! 

    This addition to the Scientists in the Field series goes where no person or spacecraft has ever gone before. Follow along with the team of scientists as they build New Horizons, fly it across the solar system, and make new discoveries about a world three billion miles away. 

Watch the out-of-this-world book trailer!

Check out the Scientists in the Field website


"The author’s enthusiasm shines through her clear, conversational narrative, and she quotes from personal interviews as well as press conferences and releases, extending the book’s intimacy."

-Kirkus, starred review

"This comprehensive volume does a great job transmitting to readers the excitement and significance of the spacecraft’s nine-year journey, and the wealth of information we are now learning about Pluto... This is a great STEM book."

Youth Services Book Review  

"Well-organized chapters keep the chronological narration flowing smoothly, while sidebars and “Mission Brief” insets supply scientific explanations and data at need-to-know points in the text. Pluto enthusiasts will be fascinated by the recent data that amends many previous assumptions about Pluto... readers who want to get in the ground floor of new discoveries will also appreciate this introduction to exciting information forthcoming from the 2014 MU69 flyby."


"Carson maintains a thrilling sense of immediacy, bolstered by Uhlman’s on-the-scene photos—and, of course, New Horizon’s dramatic images of Pluto and its fellow residents of the Kuiper belt."

—Publishers Weekly

"This enthusiastic, accessible look at both cutting-edge scientific discovery and the dynamic work behind the scenes will be an easy sell to spacemad kids..."


A Junior Library Guild selection