I must confess that the idea of building a current NASA spacecraft didn't grab me at first - real world spaceships tending to be a lot uglier than fantasy ones. However, the child who wanted to be an astronaut in me was intrigued when I came across the New Horizons probe, which will be the first spaceship ever to study Pluto when it flies past in July 2015. Sure, Pluto has been downgraded from 'planet' to 'great big asteroid' since New Horizons was launched in 2006, but it still has to be worth a look, right?
Solar panels aren't much use in the outer solar system, so New Horizons relies on a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator powered by Plutonium-238 - that's the black thing on the back. You may not need to take coal to Newcastle, but it turns out you should take Plutonium to Pluto!
Most of the other greebles are scientific instruments with cute acronym names like Pepssi, Lorri & Ralph. Here are some reference photos.
Beautiful ship, Stuart! I'm always fascinated with the chemical analytical instrumentation on these! Good luck! And, Tim, if you read this, I actually was involved in a group working with an aspect of space satellites years ago when I lived in.... Dayton! :)
Well, here it is. Top notch Stuart; this is my favorite probe and actually the one I hoped to see when I suggested the category. The dish looks dandy and I can vouch for the realism as I know the look quite well. Spot-on interpretation. I will post an official judge's comment here if I am needed.
I see what you were talking about with that parabolic dish, and I must say, your solution looks great. Great build all around, and very faithful to the original. It will be a tough call b/t you and Parrington for sure. Still...no microscale TARDIS though.