Carl Sagan

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American astronomer (1936-1996) who pioneered exobiology and promoted Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and science in general.

Carl Sagan was a professor and lab director at Cornell University. He contributed to most of the unmanned space missions that explored our solar system. His idea was to add an unalterable and universal message on the spacecraft that could be understood by an extraterrestrial intelligence. He was also well known for coauthor the paper that warned of the dangers of nuclear winter.

He wrote and narrated the television series Cosmos; he wrote also books to popularise science (Broca's Brain, The Dragons of Eden, etc.) and a novel, Contact, that became a best-seller and was adapted to a film starring Jodie Foster. The film won the 1998 Hugo award.

After a long and difficult fight with myelodysplasia, Sagan passed away at the age of 62, on Dec. 20th 1996.

See also extraterrestrial life.

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