FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 1998
Contact: Karen Rugg
(202) 543-1900, ext. 77
STARDUST NAME COUNT PASSES 500,000 MARK
Joint campaign between National Space Society and NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory is halfway to million name goal
(Washington, DC) -- July 2 -- The National Space Society (NSS) announced
today that the 500,000 mark has been surpassed in an online campaign to
collect one million names to be embedded onto a microchip on board the
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Stardust spacecraft. The "Make an
IMPACT" campaign with its million name goal was announced as a joint effort
between the NSS, NASA and JPL in May with the release of Paramount Pictures
and DreamWorks Pictures' "Deep Impact." The campaign is being conducted in
cooperation with JPL's "Send Your Name to a Comet" effort.
"It was our decision, along with Paramount and DreamWorks, to see if we
could help JPL hit that million mark and I'd say we're well on our way,"
said NSS Director of Communications Karen Rugg. "By gathering names online
and at every NSS activity, we've been contributing approximately 5,000
names per day. And we're hearing some great stories -- people entering the
names of their family members (and planning to tell them at Christmas),
their swim teams, their baseball teams, their bowling leagues, their
graduating classes, their newborn children, their book clubs. All NSS
members are on the chip, as well as the cast of 'Deep Impact'".
Names can be submitted through the NSS website until mid-August at
. Those submitting their names are granting
permission for the Stardust project and its partners to use the names in
possible future exhibits and/or publications.
Stardust is being prepared for launch by NASA and the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory to intercept Comet Wild-2, collect comet dust particles and
deliver them back to Earth in January 2006, according to mission plans.
Names from the campaign will be electronically etched onto a
fingernail-size silicon chip. Once inscribed, the names can be read only
with the aid of an electron microscope.
The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit
space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 23,000
members and 90 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring
civilization. Information on NSS and space exploration is available at