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Solar eclipse delegation on goodwill mission to Iran

June 5, 1999 - Washington, DC: Dr. Alan Hale, Director of the Southwest Institute for Space Research, and co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp -- which shone brightly in the spring skies two years ago -- will lead a delegation of private US citizens to Iran to view the total solar eclipse on August 11th, 1999. He has just made available a limited number of positions for astronomers, scientists or professionals to join this astronomical adventure.

Joined by Russell ("Rusty") Schweickart, lunar module pilot for the Apollo 9 mission in March 1969, and currently President of the telecommunications consulting firm NRS Communications, Dr. Hale's delegation will include scientists, students of all ages, educators and professionals from around the United States.

John Marks, President and Founder, Search for Common Ground, and his team in Washington, D. C. and Iran, have served as a catalyzing partner with Dr. Hale in the planning and negotiation of this trip. Search for Common Ground, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) and nongovernmental organization was founded in 1982, shares a planetary vision of transforming how the world deals with conflict -- away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions.

This is the last total solar eclipse of this Millennium to be seen from anywhere on Earth. Weather data indicates that the best chances for clear skies for this eclipse occur in Iran near the city of Esfahan.

Leaders interested in becoming a partnering sponsor with the Institute's Eclipse Expedition to Iran, or individuals who are interested in joining in this spectacular chance-of-a-lifetime trip, should contact the Institute's financial development associate, Buddy Chambless, at (703) 892-5011, or via e-mail at All technical questions concerning the eclipse or other aspects of the trip should be made directly to Dr. Hale at (505) 687-2075 or via e-mail at


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