New Sagan Center to Rise at NASA Research Park

For Immediate Release
November 07, 2001

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

On Friday, November 9, 2001, NASA Ames Research Center will dedicate the site for The Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Cosmos, which will be created to help investigate that very question.

"Carl Sagan co-founded The Planetary Society in part to inspire the people of Earth about the search for life in the Universe - and to study that life, when and if we find it," said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society. "We are overjoyed that the Sagan Center will be created as an intellectual legacy of his pioneering work and vision in this field."

Friedman will join NASA Administrator Dan Goldin; Ann Druyan, Sagan's wife and collaborator; and NASA Ames Director Henry McDonald in a ceremony to unveil the cornerstone for the new Sagan Center.

Other participants will include Frank Drake, a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and representatives from Lockheed Martin Space Operations and the University of California, Santa Cruz, who will play a part in planning the new Sagan Center.

"NASA, under the inspired leadership of Dan Goldin, has found a way to truly honor Carl that reflects the richness, significance and diversity of his legacy," said Ann Druyan, CEO of Cosmos Studios. "The Sagan Center promises to embody the themes of his life and work. Its dedication on what would have been his 67th birthday moves me more than I can possibly convey."

The Sagan Center will be dedicated to furthering humanity's understanding of life in the universe and advancing the search for that life.

The goals of the Sagan Center will mesh well with those of The Planetary Society, whose mission is to inspire the people of Earth to explore new worlds and seek other life. The Society funds several programs to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including SETI@home and radio and optical telescope searches around the world.

The Sagan Center will be located in the planned NASA Research Park at Moffett Field, California, adjacent to the NASA Ames Research Center. Research at the facility will include work in nanotechnology, genomics, and microbiology.

As currently envisioned, the Sagan Center will consist of three 30,000-square-foot laboratory modules, with the potential to add a fourth at a later date, and a 30,000-square-foot public gallery exhibition area and a 500-seat auditorium.

Situated in NASA Research Park, it will be a key element in NASA Ames Research Center's goal to develop a shared-use research and development campus in association with academia, industry and non-profits.

News media are invited to attend the dedication ceremony at 10:30 AM, November 9, 2001. It will be held in a tent on the future site of the new center parking lot across the street from McDonald's restaurant, located at the corner of McCord Avenue and Edquiba Avenue.

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