NO New Nuclear Weapons... NO New Nuclear Targets... NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO Nuclear Testing...
NO Star Wars... NO Weapons In Space...
NO All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?

Extrasolar Planet Telescope Nears First Light
Letters from: Louis D. FRIEDMAN
Executive Director - The Planetary Society
Tuesday, July /2/2002

"Predictions by our partner, The Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, are that we may discover as many as 30
Jupiter-sized planets each year.
  Just seven years ago, no planets around other stars had been proven to exist.  Since then, the discovery rate worldwide has averaged only about 12 a year.  Our project may produce between 10 and 40 new discoveries every year."


Two years ago, with your blessing, we took on an ambitious, far-sighted project: an effort to resurrect a beautiful, but aging, 1.3 meter telescope that had been declared obsolete at Arizona's Kitt Peak National Observatory.

We recognized this as a rare and fleeting opportunity to significantly expand the search for other worlds elsewhere in our galaxy.  So we leapt at the chance to help a consortium of science institutions to refurbish and upgrade the telescope.

With its state-of-the-art CCD imager, computer-controlled robotics, and data analysis software, the Kitt Peak "Robotically Controlled Telescope"(RCT) ranks among the most sophisticated and sensitive telescopes of its kind.  The RCT will also officially expand The Planetary Society's involvement in one of the most exciting and
promising efforts of the space age: the search for extra-solar planets.

However, there is a problem: we're falling short on resources needed to reach final completion and begin operations.  We need your help today to bridge the gap. Without some decisive action by you and your fellow
members immediately, our ability to fulfill all our commitments related to this project could be jeopardized.

Our project is real and ready to go.  We know this project is worth the investment because the payoff promises to be truly enormous.  Predictions by our partner, The Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, are that we may discover as many as 30 Jupiter-sized planets each year.  Just seven years ago, no planets around other stars had been proven to exist.  Since then, the discovery rate worldwide has averaged only about 12 a year.  Our project may produce between 10 and 40 new discoveries every year.

Now, it's time to "make some history."  Please, help the Society finish up this project and get it into production by giving as generously as you can through the Donations page on our website at:

* * * * *

Help Support the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence!
3.7 million people and counting!
May 11, 2002

That is an astounding number. It is also the number of people who have signed on to participate in the incredible SETI@home Project - a bold experiment that directly involves them in the search for life beyond Earth.

In the last three years, SETI@home has linked together what amounts to more than three million private computers, in essence making it the largest computer in the world! This "supercomputer" is hard at work crunching the numbers in search of the signal that could be the first proof of intelligent life beyond this planet.

When The Planetary Society first agreed to take on sponsorship of SETI@home, we knew we were taking a risk with an enormously complex and ambitious software project. But we saw the tremendous possibility for public involvement, so we took the risk that no one else would.

That's why your help is needed now! By sending in your generous gift  today, you can help us ensure that this remarkable project continues running far into the future.

SETI@home is not just about being directly involved in the adventure of exploration...it's about having a real shot at making the history books. After all, the day we discover life on another world is a day that will be remembered always. It will be marked as a pivotal point in human history, the instant that humanity's isolation in the cosmos disappears forever.

Without financial support from interested individuals like you, we simply would be unable to undertake such rewarding projects. Please help today by making a generous contribution to the Society. I guarantee that your gift will make a difference.

To donate to support SETI@home, just go to the Donations page on our website at:  https://planetary.org/donations.html

Also, if you haven't received it already, you will probably be getting a letter about this project in the mail.  If you would prefer  making a donation to support SETI@home through standard  mail, please feel free to use the response envelope we've  included with your letter.

Louis D. Friedman
Executive Director -The Planetary Society

* * * * *

Cosmos 1

Update - 16 April 2002

We continue to progress in our quest to fly the first solar sail: the Cosmos 1 spacecraft has now passed vibration and dynamic tests.  In early April, our team conducted a series of tests simulating the dynamical environment of transportation, launch, orbit insertion, and flight with the mechanical spacecraft model - and Cosmos 1 passed all the tests.

The mechanical model (sometimes called an engineering model) is made of components that are either the flight units or exact mass and volume equivalents. The team subjected it to a complete simulation of the dynamical conditions expected to be experienced by the spacecraft. We had expected the weakest link would be the solar arrays, which are fragile structures hinged to the spacecraft. But they survived the testing nicely, and our project leaders gave a full go-ahead to begin manufacturing all components for the flight spacecraft.

We received more good news when the rocket motor for orbital insertion was successfully integrated on the mechanical model and all parts of the fuel flow system checked out.

This month the electronic parts of the flight hardware are supposed to come together for system and electrical tests - all mechanical and electrical components will be working together. Most of the communication and scientific components have been delivered, including sensors, the accelerometers, the star tracker and the UHF-band radio.  But the panoramic camera and S-band radio are not complete yet, nor is the on-board computer.   Their development is proceeding well, however, and we expect all components to be in the test area by the end of this month. Our biggest concern is the delivery of the on-board computer with compete software.

We hope soon to set up a live web camera in the test area in IKI, which you will be able to visit through our web site. There we will follow the test progress over the next several months as the spacecraft is put through its paces in a simulation of all functions. These tests will determine our readiness for launch, which we now expect to be no earlier than September.

We have had delays and have accepted those delays in order to develop the spacecraft as reliably as possible. Within the next few weeks we will conduct a launch date review and specify an official request to the Russian Navy for launch dates.

Meanwhile, back at The Planetary Society, we have delivered to the project the CD containing our member's names and other historical material about solar sailing. We also have started to configure our Project Operations - Pasadena (POP) room, which will be our control link to the Mission Operations - Moscow (MOM) center at
Babakin Research Center in Moscow.

So, we move closer to the launch of the first solar sail.


The Planetary Society was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman to encourage the exploration of our solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life.

The Society is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, funded by dues and donations from individuals around the world. With more than 100,000 members from over 140 countries, we are the largest space-interest group on Earth. Membership is open to all people interested in our mission.

Not already a member? Join today at:

E-mail: tps.dd@planetary.org>
The Planetary Society

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