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Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part 2: Hiatus and Renewal, 1983-1996 (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) Paperback – October 16, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0387789040 ISBN-10: 0387789049 Edition: 2009th

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Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part 2: Hiatus and Renewal, 1983-1996 (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) + Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Part 3: The Modern Era 1997-2009 (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) + Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part I: The Golden Age 1957-1982 (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
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Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration
  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Praxis; 2009 edition (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387789049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387789040
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're familiar with the Springer/Praxis series of books on spaceflight history and technology, then "Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part 2--Hiatus and Renewal 1983-1996" needs no introduction. You already know what a superb series it is, with fine production values, well-made volumes designed to stand up to being read repeatedly, authoritative text and liberal use of black-and-white photos, line drawings, charts and tables. You also already know what a great job prolific contributor David M. Harland, and the other series authors, do in bringing space exploration to life.

If you're not familiar with the series or the authors, but are interested in the subject, then this is a great place to dig in. 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 during a pivotal time when shock waves from the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy reverberated through much of the global spaceflight community. Despite the resulting uncertainties, and the need to redesign missions and spacecraft when the Shuttle fleet was grounded and then operationally restricted after it returned to flight status, the period saw many of the most impressive planetary missions to date. The first section of about 140 pages (labeled as Chapter 4 because it continues from "Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part I: The Golden Age, 1957-1982") covers in great detail the many international missions to Halley's Comet, taking advantage of an observational and scientific opportunity that occurs only once every 76 years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Davis on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
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. A glance at the long list of references will quell any doubts about whether the authors did their homework.

Where the first book in the series covered dozens and dozens of missions in the so called Golden Age this book describes only 19. The decline was due to the priorities given to the Shuttle and Space Station in the US while the USSR was in a terminal decline. Partially filling in the void were the emergence of the ESA and Japan in the planetary field.

The book describes all the missions in great detail from earliest proposals to last signal. The Galileo mission in particular is an orbit by orbit, encounter by encounter description lasting over a hundred pages. Not only are the flown missions described but the greater context of proposals and cancelled missions are provided.

This is not a book for the space tyro; there is very little in the way of explanations of scientific and technical matters. The wide variety of the instruments these probes carried and experiments performed will include some that even the most dedicated and long standing will not fully understand.

The illustrations complement the text very well. The only complaint is that there are no color illustrations in the book and the originals of some graphs and charts required color to fully understand them.

While not strictly necessary, I would strongly urge reading Part 1 before reading this book. While the authors seem to have picked as good a division as possible there is a certain loss of continuity if Part 1 is not read first.

All in all an outstanding book; I can't wait for Part 3.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig B. Clark on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent explanation of robotics use in recent space exploration missions. Includes considerations of how the robot will function in the environment it will be going to as well as how they actually performed upon arrival at the destination. The book includes technical information but can be understood by the reader.
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