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Can Paul Feig Get Pluto’s Groove Back?

Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, the cast of his Yahoo series Other Space, and two NASA planetary experts are working to get Pluto back as a planet through their I Am Pro Pluto campaign.

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With yesterday’s Pluto flyby making headlines, it’s time we stop throwing shade at the one-time ninth planet and reinstate its planetary status.

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Now, Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, the cast of his Yahoo series Other Space (which includes Mystery Science Theater creators Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu), and New Horizons planetary scientists Alan Stern, the principal investigator, and Phil Metzger are riding the #PlutoFlyBy momentum to return Pluto to its former glory through their Change.org petition, I Am Pro Pluto.

“Underdog of our solar system, Pluto has been a punchline for too long,” says Feig in a statement. “I support this noble and long overdue effort to give it back its rightful planetary status.”

“Take a look,” adds Stern in that same release. “If you saw it on the Star Trek Enterprise viewfinder, what would you call it?”

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Pluto and Charon Shine in False Color

NASA deployed the New Horizons probe nine years ago, which soared within eight miles of Pluto yesterday, revealing new topographical details and scientific data. Feig and company are hoping the campaign will reignite the great Pluto status debate (like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s opposing voice here) when the International Astronomical Union holds its general assembly in Honolulu next month.

According to the petition wording, there’s nomenclature and funding at stake. “By declaring that Pluto was no longer a planet, the IAU put into place a planetary definition that would have even declassified Earth as a planet if it existed as far from the Sun as Pluto does,” it states. “But this is about much more than planetary definitions. When this new definition of a planet was instituted, future generations lost millions of dollars in funding for space exploration.

And as long as Other Space is championing Pluto, the least you could do is check out the series.

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P.S. In more Pluto news…check out NOVA’s Chasing Pluto, airing tonight.

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About the author

Susan Karlin, based in Los Angeles, is a regular contributor to Fast Company, where she covers space science, autonomous vehicles, and the future of transportation. Karlin has reported for The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, and Wired, among other outlets, from such locations as the Arctic and Antarctica, Israel and the West Bank, and Southeast Asia

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