14 October 1997
CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900
Washington, DC -- The National Space Society, the space exploration advocacy organization, today commented on Sunday's untimely death of entertainer John Denver, who had been a long-time member of the Society's Board of Governors. In 1976, Mr. Denver became one of the original governing members of the National Space Institute (NSI) along with Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Bob Hope, Alan Shepard and others. He remained on the Board after the NSI merged with the L-5 Society in 1987, forming the National Space Society.
"From the beginning, John knew what he wanted to do," said Hugh Downs, chairman of the National Space Society's Board of Governors. "He personified the deep desire of many of our Society's members to someday travel in space. And he tried to do something about it. We will miss his vision, his talent, his perseverance and his unique ability, through his words and music, to help others understand the fragility and beauty of this planet we call home."
Mr. Denver had volunteered to fly aboard the space shuttle and attempted to fly through the Russian space program. In 1986, he recorded "Flying for Me" in tribute to the crew of the shuttle Challenger and teacher-in-space Christa MacAuliffe.
In June this year, the Society also marked the passing of Board Governor Jacques Cousteau, who died at the age of 87.
The National Space Society is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization with headquarters in Washington, DC. Its 25,000 members and 95 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. For more information on the NSS and our future in space, visit http://www.nss.org/.