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What We Do and Our Place Within TPS (The Planetary Society)

What We Do...

We help coordinate and co-sponsor events led by TPS. We recruit new volunteers and provide a link from the Bay Area to the Universe through this web site. 

Our Place Within TPS...

We are one of 5 volunteer networks around the world. TPS has volunteer networks in Boston-USA, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

A Brief History of the TPS Bay Area Volunteers...

The Planetary Society Bay Area Volunteers were the first group of Planetary Society members that were officially authorized to work together to promote the Societies goals since inception in 1980. In 1985-86, several Bay Area members began discussing the idea of having closer contacts with other local members - to share their interests and perhaps find a greater strength working together as a group. TPS supported the formation of the first regional meeting and organization of a volunteer network at the request of Bay Area member Barbara Bowman.

This historic first meeting of the new Volunteer Network was held in June, 1987, at the Lawrence Hall of Science near the University of California Campus. About 25 members of TPS sat and discussed the events that we would be organizing in the months ahead. Soon, our network was busy arranging several public events each year. We often co-sponsored impressive panel presentations with the NASA Ames Research Center or in conjunction with important planetary missions. 

Ever since our first meeting in June, 1987, our network has produced a long list of successful public events around the San Francisco Bay Area. The public responded enthusiastically to such co-sponsored events as: Mars Watch '88, Continuing the Search - Life on Mars?, 1988, Magellan - The Unveiling of Venus, 1990, Exploration of Mars - Past, Present and Future, 1991, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's Impact On Jupiter, 1994, Jupiter's Mysteries Revealed: Galileo Probe, 1996. 

People had to be turned away from more than one event when our Society President, Carl Sagan, led the panel discussion. It is quite thrilling to be a part of The Planetary Society Team, working as a volunteer and meeting the scientists who participated. On several exciting field trips, for Volunteers only, we saw the Hubble Space Telescope, and were given a tour of the Pioneer 10 and 11 Mission Control Room at NASA Ames Research Center. 

Our Volunteers have had many unforgettable experiences. The first 10 years were so much fun that we all want to keep the Network going strong for the next 10!


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