18 Years of Searching -- Where is The
Planetary Society Headed?
The Planetary Society has been supporting Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) projects for 18 years, ever since the first
move by the U.S. Congress to outlaw the expenditure of NASA funds on the effort.
Some one dozen projects, including searches in both the northern and
southern hemispheres have been conducted, enabled by more
than one million dollars of privately contributed funds from members of
the Society. These searches include the most comprehensive, the Billion
Channel Extra-terrestrial Assay (BETA) at Harvard, the continuous support in the
southern hemisphere in Argentina, and now the enormously significant and popular
data processing going on worldwide known as SETI@home.
Recently the Society has begun to add Optical SETI to its
list of supported projects – an idea whose time has come.
In conjunction with this meeting, the Society announced that it was
funding a dedicated Optical SETI telescope to conduct an all-sky search for
hypothetical laser signals from extraterrestrial sources. The challenge
now, with all of these observation programs, by the Society and others, is to
deal with negative results and use them to define better search strategies and
new experiments for testing hypotheses in SETI.
Planetary, Society, SETI, extraterrestrial, BETA, SETI@Home,
Principal Author Biography
Dr. Friedman is a native of New York City. He received a B.S. in
Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin
in 1961, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University in 1963, and a
Ph.D. from the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at M.I.T. in
1971. His Ph.D. thesis was on Extracting Scientific Information from
Dr. Friedman worked at the AVCO Space Systems Division from 1963-1968, on both civilian and military space programs. From 1970 to 1980 he worked on deep space missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Among the projects he has worked on are: navigation systems analysis for Mariner-Venus-Mercury and for the Grand Tour, and mission design studies for the Venus Orbital Imaging Radar, Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail, and the Mars Program. He was the leader of the latter three programs. He has been the manager of Advanced Planetary Studies at JPL, and has been involved in the planning of future space missions for many years. Dr. Friedman is the author of more than 20 papers on Navigation, Mission Analysis and Design, and Mission Planning.
In 1978-79, Dr. Friedman was the AIAA Congressional Fellow and worked on the staff of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. During the last year he worked on Space Policy, Operational Remote Sensing legislation, NASA program oversight and technology innovation on the railroads. He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society, the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, Sigma Xi and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 1979 and 1980 Dr. Friedman originated and was leader of the International
Halley Watch at JPL. He left JPL in 1980 to become the Executive Director
of The Planetary Society, a non-profit, popular society for enhancing the
exploration of the planets and the search for extraterrestrial life. The
Planetary Society is now the largest space interest organization in the
Principal Author Affiliation
The Planetary Society