On to Pluto? - The Planetary Society Statement

Press Release From: Planetary Society
Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2000

When NASA issued a stop work order on the Pluto mission in September, The Planetary Society campaigned vigorously for Congress to provide additional funds to enable the Pluto mission to launch on schedule in 2004. The Society's campaign to save the Pluto-Kuiper Express generated an avalanche of public support for the mission, including over 10,000 pieces of mail to Congress.

Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society, made the following statement in response to NASA's decision to try to restore a Pluto mission to the Outer Planets program:

We are gratified that NASA is trying to restore the Pluto mission to its launch schedule. Public interest in exploring the only unvisited planet of our solar system is high, much higher than NASA may have realized. So, too, is the scientific interest -- Pluto and the Kuiper Belt hold key clues to the origin of the solar system. The Outer Planets mission to Europa is also important. Europa offers a watery habitat in some ways like Earth. Both missions are essential steps in exploring our planetary environment. NASA must find a way to launch missions to both worlds in the next eight years.

To interview Dr. Friedman, contact Susan Lendroth at (626)793-5100 ext 214. Visit our web site at for more information about the Society's programs.

The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106-2301
Tel: (626) 793-5100
Fax: (626) 793-5528

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