U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) has introduced legislation recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Planetary Society.
“Few things can capture the human imagination quite like space exploration. And thanks to their decades of outreach and advocacy, the Planetary Society has put outer space in reach for so many people. I am privileged to represent some of the greatest minds in science who have taken us to Mars and beyond,” Chu said in a prepared statement.
“But these accomplishments would not have been possible without the amazing people at the Planetary Society who have helped Americans and people around the world understand the importance of space and space exploration.”
The Planetary Society is a Pasadena-based nonprofit foundation dedicated to the exploration of the Solar System, the search for near-Earth objects, and the search for extraterrestrial life. The society’s stated mission is “To empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration.”
The organization was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman to serve as a champion of public support of space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. Sagan led the Planetary Society until his death in 1996.
The Planetary Society is also a strong advocate for space funding and missions of exploration within NASA. They lobby Congress and engage their membership in the United States to write and call their representatives in support of NASA funding.
The group is governed by a 12-member volunteer board of directors chosen for their passion for and knowledge of space exploration. The board meets twice a year to set policies and future directions.
“On behalf of the entire Planetary Society Board of Directors, our staff and most importantly our over 50,000 members from all around the world, I want to express our deepest appreciation to Congresswoman Chu, her fellow Members of Congress, and her team for taking the time to introduce this resolution,” said Planetary Society Chief Executive Officer Bill Nye.
“The Planetary Society is unique. For the last 40 years, as the world’s largest independent space organization, its staff and its members have worked to advance space exploration, the search for life elsewhere in the cosmos, and the protection of Earth from a catastrophic impact by an asteroid or comet. We are proud to work with important congressional decision-makers like Congresswoman Chu to learn more about the cosmos and our place within it. Since its founding, The Planetary Society has been headquartered in Pasadena, California. We are fortunate indeed to have leaders like Congresswoman Chu representing us.”