The Planetary Society Celebrates Galileo Mission with Galileo and His Daughter

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2003

Mat Kaplan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

On September 21, 2003, the Galileo spacecraft will plunge into Jupiter, ending a remarkable voyage of discovery. The Planetary Society will celebrate the mission with a special benefit performance and presentation, "An Evening with Galileo and His Daughter," September 22, at the historic Pasadena Playhouse.

Based on Dava Sobel's best-selling book, Galileo's Daughter, the event will include a short program on the 14-year mission's highlights, followed by a dramatic reading by John Rhys-Davies as Galileo Galilei with Linda Purl as his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste.

Rhys-Davies is best known to audiences for his roles as Gimli, the dwarf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy of films, and as Indiana Jones' friend Salla in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Linda Purl is a well known actor of stage, screen and film, whose roles run the gamut from Fonzie's girlfriend in "Happy Days" to stints on Broadway.

Robert Picardo, an actor and member of The Planetary Society's Advisory Council, directs "An Evening with Galileo and his Daughter." Picardo played the holographic Doctor on "Star Trek: Voyager" for seven years.

Claudia Alexander, Galileo's Project Manager; John Casani, Galileo's First Project Manager; and Torrence Johnson, Galileo's Project Scientist will accept a special tribute from The Planetary Society on behalf of all the men and women on the Galileo team.

Dava Sobel based the script for "An Evening with Galileo and His Daughter" on the actual writings of these two fascinating figures from Renaissance history. The dramatic reading will highlight Galileo's impassioned tale of his discovery of the Jovian moons and his daughter's pride in and concern for her father during a tumultuous era.

Proceeds from the performance will benefit the programs of The Planetary Society. Tickets -- $60 and $75 - may be purchased online at The Planetary Society’s website. Tickets are also available for a reception with cast and crew following the performance.

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit