|02 July 1998
(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 <http://www.nss.org/impact>. 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 <http://www.nss.org/>.