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august 8, 2000 |
seti@home expanded

SETI@home enables people around the world to process signals from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). It uses a computer program to analyze scientific data from the radio search (from the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico) for possible signals from another civilization, while acting as a screen-saver on personal computers.
To date, SETI@home is the largest distributed computing experiment ever undertaken, and participants have collectively logged 340 millennia worth of computing time. The distributed computing network of SETI@home operates as the most powerful computer on Earth, and its progress to date represents the largest computational task in history.

The idea
of linking computers in a global network to analyze radio data from space originated with David Gedye, a UC Berkeley computer science graduate, along with Craig Kasnoff and astronomer Woody Sullivan. The public first got a crack at the software in May 17 of 1999, and, since then, 2.2 million people have signed up and downloaded the software. This is the first scientific experiment that directly involves the worldwide general public.

The University of California, Berkeley's SETI@home project, scheduled to end in May 2001, has a new lease on life thanks to a large gift from The Planetary Society. The money comes from The Planetary Society through a unique alliance with Project Voyager and will allow SETI@home to increase the program's data processing capability, as well as to begin analyzing data collected from radio telescopes scanning the southern hemisphere. While Project Voyager will help fund Society programs, The Planetary Society will provide cutting-edge science content to Project Voyager's forthcoming portal. The Society and Project Voyager also plan to develop innovative educational material about the project, SETI in general, and the new field of astrobiology.

Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world. The Planetary Society was the founding sponsor of SETI@home. Project Voyager, founded by Sagan's wife and long-time collaborator, Ann Druyan, is the code name of an integrated media venture that will build an entertainment and learning network by drawing upon the wonders of science. The company's name will be introduced this autumn, and is scheduled to launch globally in late 2000.

"SETI@home is an ingenious technical way of transforming each and every one of us into an active researcher investigating the most enthralling scientific question of all. It embodies our dream of democratizing the scientific experience; of opening it up to the many," said Ann Druyan. "We are thrilled to be part of this alliance with Project Voyager and The Planetary Society," said Dr. David P. Anderson, director of the SETI@home project. "The three organizations have tremendous synergy because we share the same basic philosophy: to involve the world in science and discovery."
SETI@home teams with The Planetary Society and Project Voyager to continue search for intelligent signals from space
The Planetary Society Takes the Lead in Sponsoring Renowned SETI@home Project: New Alliance Ensures Project's Continuance
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Project Voyager and The Planetary Society Form Strategic Alliance
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