From the reviews:
“Robotic Exploration of the Solar System Part 2 Hiatus and Renewal 1983-1989 is the second book in this comprehensive series describing planetary (and interplanetary) space missions. It’s a hefty 535 pages packed with information. … The book describes all the missions in great detail from earliest proposals to last signal. … The illustrations complement the text very well. … All in all an outstanding book … .” (Jim Davis, Amazon, March, 2011)
“In this thick, heavy tome, Mr. Harland and co-author Paolo Ulivi turn their exceptional narrative skills, technical knowledge and attention to detail to the story of American, Soviet and European unmanned planetary missions … . the presentation of the material is outstanding. … I never found this volume to be at all boring. About 250 illustrations perfectly complement the text … and all of them clearly and usefully captioned. If you want to know something about unmanned planetary exploration, this is the book for you.” (Terry Sunday, Amazon, August, 2011)
“This is the second volume of a three-book series chronicling solar system exploration from the dawn of the space age to the present. The authors describe not only the missions themselves but also their design, management, and instrumentation and the political backdrop to the selection and execution of these missions … . the book covers two of the big successes of the period in question, the Magellan and Galileo missions. … an excellent book and an excellent series.” (Liftoff, Issue 260, November-December, 2010)
About the Author
Prior to launching artificial satellites, both the then Soviet Union and the United States developed more powerful intercontinental missiles with a range of thousands of miles. In the 1950s, the Soviets designed the huge 8K71 "Semiorka" (little seven, after the military designator R 7), a single staged rocket equipped with four large boosters and able to carry an heavy thermonuclear warhead to the continental US. In the USA, competition between the different armed forces prevailed, and the Army developed the medium range Redstone and Jupiter missiles, whilst the Air Force developed the Thor and two different ICBMs, Atlas and Titan and the Navy developed the Polaris submarine launched missiles.
The potential of all of these rockets to boost spacecraft were huge, but while in the Soviet Union it was decided to modify an 8K71 to carry a scientific payload into space, the United States decided that the Navy would develop a tiny new rocket called Vanguard, specifically designed for the task. This decision was to have grave repercussions: on 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union launched its PS-1 satellite, better known as Sputnik, which rocked the USA. This was compounded a month later by the launch of the PS-2, carrying the dog Laika. Following the explosion of the first Vanguard on December 6, the US Army then had the task to restore the American confidence by successfully carrying Explorer 1 into space on 1 February 1958 using themodified Redstone rocket called Juno 1. During the same year, the superpowers started working on new versions of their missiles able to carry small payloads to the Moon and, potentially, to the near planets. The space race had begun.
DAVID HARLAND is an expert on international law serving with the UN.