Alan Stern on the New Horizons flyby of Pluto

"It's electric; it's truly electric...People are just thrilled and they have big smiles on their faces, and the data that's coming down - even though it's only a small amount of what the spacecraft's taking - is so beautiful. Pluto is not disappointing. Pluto is spectacular."

Nobody's dissing Pluto now. It may have been downgraded from 'planet' to 'dwarf planet' in 2006, but we on this planet are on the edges of our seats about the flyby of NASA's space probe New Horizons. It's already snapped some intriguing shots of the spotty side. And this coming Tuesday, the craft will hurtle by at 14 km per second and take pictures of the other, from just 12,500 kilometers away.

Stern, professor at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas and head of the mission, summed up the excitement nicely. You can read all about it on the BBC News website here.