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Space Missions of the Awesome80s

By Patrick Mondout

The Awesome80s finally saw the Space Shuttle both fly for the first time and tragically explode on live TV. We have complete coverage of the Space Shuttle and an article on a vehicle that looks an awful lot like the Space Shuttle.

Few who lived through this decade will forget the hype surrounding Halley's Comet even if Edmund Halley's comet proved to be a disappointment.

The beginning of the decade saw the broadcast of one of the finest documentaries ever produced. Cosmos inspired a generation of scientists and made a star of Carl Sagan.

Here are the most important non-Space Shuttle space missions of the Awesome80s sorted by which nation (or, as in the case of the European Space Agency, group of nations) sent them into space:

  Space Missions of the United States Space Missions of the Soviet Union Space Missions of the European Space Agency Space Missions of Japan
1981   Venera 13
Venera 14
1983   Venera 15
Venera 16
1984   Vega 1
Vega 2
1985 ISEE-3/ICE   Giotto Sakigake
1989 Magellan

Source: NASA.

Space References (Books):
Dickinson, Terence. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. Firefly Books, 1998.
Greene, Brian. Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Vintage, 2000.
Hawking, Stephen. Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition. Bantam, 1996.
Hawking, Stephen. Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. New Millenium, 2002.
Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantam, 2001.
Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension.
Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Berkley Pub Group, 2001.
Sagan, Carl; Druyan, Ann. Comet, Revised Edition. Ballantine, 1997
Sagan, Carl. Cosmos, Reissue Edition. Ballantine, 1993
Sagan, Carl. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Ballantine, 1997

Space References (Videos):
Cosmos. PBS, 2000.
Stephen Hawking's Universe. PBS, 1997.
Hyperspace. BBC, 2002.
Life Beyond Earth PBS, 1999.
The Planets
. BBC, 1999.
Understanding The Universe. A&E, 1996.



Everyone remembers where they were when they heard about Challenger exploding.

Courtesy of NASA

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