The Planetary Society will be acknowledged at Aviation Week & Space
Technology’s 45th Annual Aerospace Laurels presentation on Tuesday, April
16, 2002. The Society nabbed double honors for both Cosmos 1, its solar
sail project, and for the Society’s unflagging support of a mission to
explore Pluto.

The Planetary Society’s role as a proponent of a Pluto mission garnered one
Laurel because Congress responded to the public’s interest in Pluto and
added the Pluto mission into the FY 2002 budget.

However, the Society is presenting testimony to Congress about Pluto this
week because once again the Administration has proposed cancellation of the
mission development in the FY 2003 budget.

The other Laurel was awarded to “The Planetary Society for making the first
real moves toward private planetary exploration by organizing the suborbital
test in July of a Solar Sail on a Russian rocket.” Kudos also went to
Cosmos Studios and the A&E television network for providing the sponsorship
for the project.

“It’s ironic that the same week I am in Washington for Aviation Week and
Space Technology’s Laurel Awards, including one to The Planetary Society for
our efforts supporting a mission to Pluto,” said Louis Friedman, the
Society’s Executive Director, “that I should also be here to ask Congress to
again restore funding for a mission to Pluto. We appreciate Aviation Week’s
tributes and will continue to push the envelope for exploration.”

The Aerospace Laurel Selections are designed to honor individuals and teams
who made significant contributions to the global field of aerospace during



Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in
1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the
search for extraterrestrial life. With members in over 140 countries, the
Society is the largest space interest group in the world.


For more information about The Planetary Society, contact Susan Lendroth at
(626) 793-5100 ext 237 or by e-mail at

The Planetary Society

65 N. Catalina Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91106-2301

Tel: (626) 793-5100

Fax: (626) 793-5528