The 1970s have been referred to as the “golden decade” of Solar System exploration (Murray, 1983). During this decade more than 34 successful missions were flown to the Moon and planets by the United States and the Soviet Union. As political interests shifted and economic forces prevailed, the beginning of the 1980s saw a marked decline in the number of missions. However, it must also be pointed out that both the quality and quantity of scientific data have increased significantly with time. Thus, the reduced number of missions was offset, at least partly, by better and more efficient spacecraft and instrumentation.
KeywordsEuropean Space Agency Asteroid Belt Outer Solar System Planetary Exploration Main Asteroid Belt
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