07 May 1998
CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900
(Washington, DC) -- May 7 -- The National Space Society, along with Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures, today announce a joint online campaign to collect one million names to be placed on board a spacecraft that will intercept an actual comet. The campaign, "Make an IMPACT," is being launched in time for tomorrow's nationwide release of the film, "DEEP IMPACT," and will continue through the summer or until the one million mark is met.
The spacecraft, STARDUST, is being prepared for launch by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to intercept Comet Wild-2, collect samples and return to Earth. The names will be printed onto a microchip to be placed aboard the craft later this year. Already on the chip are the names of every member of the National Space Society, and the names of the cast and crew of "DEEP IMPACT." Names can be submitted by going to the National Space Society website at nss.org/impact or to the film's website at deep-impact.com.
"We are firm believers in the idea that, today, fact can be as spellbinding as fiction," said Ms. Pat Dasch, executive director for the National Space Society. "In this case, a film tells a fictional story of an impending comet collision while, in fact, NASA and JPL are preparing a craft to intercept a comet and learn more about it. We are very pleased to be partnering with Paramount on this project; with a one million name goal, we're committed to making a real 'impact.'"
The National Space Society is also producing a slide set for educators on comets and asteroids, featuring text prepared by leading scientists. The set will include several images from "DEEP IMPACT."
The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 23,000 members and 90 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. Information on NSS and space exploration is available at <http://www.nss.org/>.
"DEEP IMPACT" is a contemporary action thriller about the chaos that ensues when it is discovered that a comet is on a deadly collision course with the Earth. DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures present "DEEP IMPACT," a Zanuck/Brown production, directed by Mimi Leder. The executive producers are Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg, Joan Bradshaw and Walter Parkes. The film is written by Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubin. DreamWorks SKG is a multi- faceted entertainment studio formed in October 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc.