The International Astronomical Union has approved a mountain range on the icy dwarf planet to be named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. After close flyby which was named by the New Horizons spacecraft, these are the first geological features on the planet to be named.
The names are based on the underworld mythology, pioneering space missions, historic pioneers who crossed new horizons in exploration, and scientists and engineers associated with Pluto and the Kuiper Belt to pay tribute them.
The list of the first set of official names of surface features on Pluto to be approved by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International recognized authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features.
“We’re very excited to approve names recognizing people of significance to Pluto and the pursuit of exploration as well as the mythology of the underworld. These names highlight the importance of pushing the frontiers of discovery,” said Rita Schulz, Chair of the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature in the Netherlands
During the 'Our Pluto's campaign', some names were suggested by members of people. For both Pluto and Moons, more name is expected to be proposed to the IAU.
The approved Pluto surface feature names include the Burney crater that honors Venetia Burney (1918-2009), who as an 11-year-old school girl suggested the name Pluto for Clyde Tombaugh's newly discovered planet.
The first space satellite, Sputnik Planitia is named after Sputnik 1. The project was launched as a partnership between the IAU, the new horizons project, and the SETI Institute.
Other names had been used informally by the New Horizons science team to describe the many regions, mountain ranges, plains, valley, and craters discovered during the first close-up look at the surfaces of Pluto and its largest moon.