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[i]The Planetary Society owes its existence to Bruce, who with Carl Sagan, decided in 1979 that the world needed an organization that would harness the public's fascination [with] planetary exploration and demonstrate to politicians that voters would support those who supported planetary exploration. Bruce and Carl directed the organization together for sixteen years, until Carl's death, and Bruce took over as president for another 5 years.
The world knew Bruce Murray as Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, from the triumphant Viking landings on Mars, through Voyager’s encounters at Jupiter and Saturn, to the start of Galileo to Jupiter and Magellan to Venus. Discover magazine dubbed him "the Admiral of the Solar System," a title for which he took a lot of teasing from those who knew and loved him. Bruce's great hero was Captain James Cook, the great explorer of the seas, and he may have been secretly pleased to have been given a title – even if entirely unofficial — that recalled great explorers of the past.[/i]
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