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

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 http://planetary.org 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

E-Mail: tps@planetary.org