FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 1998
Contact: Robert Pearlman
(202) 543-1900, ext. 72
COMET-BOUND MICROCHIP HITS ONE MILLION NAMES
National Space Society and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory "Make an
IMPACT" campaign reaches one million name goal
(Washington, DC) -- August 6 -- The National Space Society (NSS) and
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announce that, as of 5:49 pm PT
yesterday, the one millionth name was entered for inclusion onto a
microchip that will fly next year on board the NASA/JPL Stardust mission
to collect cometary dust particles. The one million name goal was
announced by the NSS and NASA/JPL in May in conjunction with the release
of Paramount and DreamWorks Pictures' release of the film, "Deep Impact."
"JPL had started to collect names on their own when we suggested teaming
up to go for the one million mark on this second microchip," said Pat
Dasch, NSS Executive Director. "We knew it was an ambitious goal, but
with the combined visibility of JPL's site and our site, and after we hit
the 500,000 mark in early July, we knew it would be an attainable one.
What a thrill for all of those people to know they are 'on their way' to
a comet when the Stardust mission launches. We're very pleased to have
partnered with JPL on this special outreach project."
Names on board the microchip include all members of the National Space
Society; the members of the cast and crew of "Deep Impact" including
actress Tea Leoni and actor Morgan Freeman; U.S. Representative Dana
Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics;
and shuttle astronaut Roger Crouch.
Additional names can still be submitted through the NSS website through
mid-August at http://www.nss.org/impact. The names will be
electronically etched onto a fingernail-size silicon chip and can then be
read only with the aid of an electron microscope. 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 to intercept Comet Wild-2,
collect comet dust particles and deliver them back to Earth in January
2006, according to mission plans.
The National Space Society, which celebrates 25 years in 1999, 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 http://www.nss.org/.