Wesley Huntress and Neil deGrasse Tyson have been elected to head the Planetary Society, which works to enthuse the public about exploration of the Solar System and promotes and funds the search for extraterrestrial life.

Huntress, a former NASA associate administrator for space sciences, heads the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s geophysical laboratory. On 25 September, he moved from the vice presidency to the presidency of the Planetary Society. Tyson, the society’s new vice president, is an astrophysicist and the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

The Planetary Society was founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and outgoing president Bruce Murray. It now counts 100 000 members in 40 countries.

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