On the Cover: How might our own planet appear to an alien spacecraft sweeping by? This mosaic of images taken by <i>Galileo</i> gives us some idea. Here the snow and ice of Antarctica, surrounded by oceans of liquid water, tell much about the unique nature of this watery planet in our solar system. But could an alien detect signs of life? Not in these images, where features smaller than 5 kilometers (3 miles) are not visible. But a spacecraft like <i>Galileo</i> carries many types of instruments, and some of these did detect evidence of life.
4 The Future of the U.S. Space Program: Norman Augustine reports on the findings of the National Space Council's Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program.
12 Galileo Encounters Earth and Venus: Charlene Anderson presents some of Galileo's first findings.
16 Tracking Spacecraft: The Deep Space Network in Spain: Bettyann Kevles explains the potential threat of our flyby neighbors.
3 Members' Dialogue The K-T extinction.
7 World Watch The effect of NASA's budget battles on planned missions.
18 News & Reviews Biospheric science; laboratory of Mars.
19 Society Notes Goodbye to an old friend; NEO update.
20 Q&A How do storms last so long on the gas giants compared to Earth?