Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman, The Planetary Society is has inspired the people of Earth to explore other worlds, understand our own, and seek life elsewhere for over 30 years.
Our three founders formed The Planetary Society to demonstrate—simply by its existence—that the public strongly supported planetary exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life and to wave that fact in the faces of politicians and policy makers around the world. We succeeded immediately in that, becoming the fastest-growing membership organization of the 1980s.
But it quickly became clear that we were going to have to do more than just exist. To achieve our goals of keeping spacecraft exploring, seeing humans walk on other worlds, and searching for signs of life in the galaxy, to our goal of political advocacy, we added sponsoring research projects, publishing a magazine and a website, holding events to celebrate exploration, and preparing for the future by educating the next generation of space explorers.
Thanks to the strong foundation established by our founders, we continue to be the pre-eminent outreach and advocacy organization for space exploration.