On the Cover: In July <i>Phobos 1</i>, the first space probe to leave Earth for Mars since 1975, lifted off atop a Proton rocket from the Baikonur space complex in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. A few days later a second Phobos craft was launched on a similar mission. The probes' main purpose Is to explore and analyze Phobos, one of Mars' two quirky moonlets. These are the first In a series of increasingly ambitious robotic probes that the Soviet Union plans to send to Mars, culminating In what could be a joint US/USSR trip with human crews to the planet early In the next century.
4 The United States' Future in Space: The Candidates Share Their Visions: Tim Lynch presents the presidential candidates' plans for NASA if they are elected.
7 The Mars Balloon: A Novel Approach to a Treacherous Terrain: Louis Friedman describes an innovative balloon adaptation that may help us explore the Red Planet.
16 Outbound to Mars: The Phobos Mission is Launched: James Burke highlights this ambitious Soviet mission.
3 Members' Dialogue Planetary Society political advocacy for Mars.
18 News & Reviews Pioneering the solar system.
19 Politics and The Planetary Society Louis Friedman gives his personal view.
20 Q&A How does a comet cause meteor showers?
22 Society Notes Momentum for Mars; scholarships and travel funds.