The Planetary Society won double honors in Aviation Week & Space Technology's 45th Annual Aerospace Laurel Selections.
One Laurel was awarded to, "The Planetary Society for making the first real moves toward private planetary exploration by organizing the suborbital test in July of a Solar Sail on a Russian rocket," February 4, 2002 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.
Kudos also went to Cosmos Studios and the A&E television network for providing the sponsorship for the project.
The Society's role as a proponent of a Pluto mission garnered its second Laurel. The Society's grass roots efforts were rewarded when Congress responded to the public's interest in Pluto and added the Pluto mission into the FY 2002 budget. However, the administration has once again proposed cancellation of the mission development in the FY 2003 budget.
"We thank Aviation Week and Space Technology for both Laurels," said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society. "We push the envelope, both technically and politically. Getting recognized is a tribute to our members and to our sponsors who enable the Society to make things happen."
The Aerospace Laurel Selections are designed to honor individuals and teams who made significant contributions to the global field of aerospace during 2001.