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Planetary Society Reflects on Goldin Years at NASA

Press Release From: Planetary Society
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2001

NASA Administrator Dan Goldin today announced that he will be resigning from NASA, where his nine-and-a-half year tenure puts him in the history books as NASA's longest-serving administrator. Goldin will step down on November 17, 2001.

Planetary Society Executive Director, Louis Friedman, and Chairman of the Board, Bruce Murray, reflected on the Goldin Era now drawing to a close. Murray is also the former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Goldin transformed an agency badly in need of transformation," said Murray. "He led it from a Cold War mentality and a "bigger is better" approach into a form -- and with objectives -- appropriate for the 21st century. Goldin and the late Carl Sagan, a co-founder of The Planetary Society, developed early a genuine rapport which led to Goldin's setting the "search for origins" as NASA's overriding goal. We are deeply indebted to Goldin's tireless, patriotic and very perceptive leadership in a difficult time."

Friedman said, "Dan Goldin is a public servant who made a difference. He deserves our profound thanks for a job well done, and for his leadership in revitalizing planetary exploration in general and Mars exploration in particular. His forging of the international alliance on the space station served not only the space programs of the world, but the greater international policy objectives of his country."

The Planetary Society led the advocacy for the Mars Surveyor program and the inclusion of the Sojourner rover on the Pathfinder mission, which was instituted by Goldin following the failure of Mars Observer in 1993.

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