Spaceship Earth: Firmage

PROJECT VOYAGER AND THE PLANETARY SOCIETY FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

Integrated Media Network and World's Largest Space Sciences Membership Organization to Jointly Advance the Exploration of the Solar System and SETI.

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 08, 2000 - The 21st century integrated media network, code-named Project Voyager (http://www.projectvoyager.com), announced today the formation of a strategic alliance with The Planetary Society (http://planetary.org). Within the terms of the agreement, Project Voyager and The Planetary Society will collaborate on science education and media projects focused on the exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) over the next two years, including University of California, Berkeley's ground-breaking SETI@home project.

"As we enter a new millennium, humanity has just begun the epic quest to explore our solar system and search for life elsewhere in the Universe. Our team is privileged to collaborate with the Planetary Society in this quest. Together we will advance shared ideas and ideals of science through research, education, and entertainment, fulfilling the high standards we have established within our plan," said Joe Firmage, chairman and CEO of Project Voyager.

"Project Voyager is conceived to engage the widest possible audience in the adventure of scientific discovery," said Ann Druyan, CEO of Cosmos Studios, the television and motion picture division of Project Voyager. "SETI@home is an ingenious technical way of transforming each and every one of us into an active researcher investigating the most enthralling scientific question of all. It embodies our dream of democratizing the scientific experience; of opening it up to the many."

"The Planetary Society's mission is to inspire the people of Earth to explore other worlds and seek other life through research, education and public participation. This alliance gives us a new opportunity to carry out this mission on the Internet and in other media; it is very important and very exciting for us," said Dr. Bruce Murray, president, The Planetary Society.

A primary component of the alliance will result in investment of resources into the next phase of the SETI@home project at the University of California at Berkeley. "We are thrilled to be part of this alliance with Project Voyager and The Planetary Society," said Dr. David P. Anderson, director of the SETI@home project. "The three organizations have tremendous synergy because we share the same basic philosophy: to involve the world in science and discovery."

The Planetary Society announced their new commitment to SETI@home in a simultaneous release today, available on their website at http://planetary.org/. Additional details concerning the alliance will be announced in coming months.

About Project Voyager Project Voyager is the code name of an integrated media network that will help transform entertainment and learning drawing upon our knowledge of science. The company is being organized by Joe Firmage of Intend Change and Ann Druyan of Carl Sagan Productions and has accepted seed capital from SOFTBANK Venture Capital and Crosspoint Ventures. The company will announce its name in late summer of 2000, and expects to launch globally in late 2000. View us on the web at  http://www.projectvoyager.com/.

About The Planetary Society Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman founded the Society in 1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world. The Planetary Society was the founding sponsor of SETI@home, which was developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It has funded and conducted more than one dozen SETI projects since 1980.

About SETI@home SETI@home enables over 2 million people around the world to process signals from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). It uses a computer program to analyze scientific data from the radio search for possible signals from another civilization, while acting as a screen-saver on personal computers. SETI@home harnesses the spare computing power of Internet-connected personal computers around the world. To date, SETI@home is the largest distributed computing experiment ever undertaken, and participants have collectively logged 340 millennia worth of computing time.