The National Aeronautic and Space Administration's (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center has recently produced a two-volume reference detailing a wide range of information about the planets, their atmospheres, and their energy fields. Originally prepared by Marshall's Atmospheric Sciences Division as a guide for designing space vehicles, the report was 2 years in the making. It is now available to anyone who wants a handy reference on the current state of knowledge about the sun, planets, and smaller bodies of the solar system.
Entitled “Space and Planetary Environment Criteria Guidelines for Use in Space Vehicle Development, 1982 Revision,” the two volumes each have fewer than 200 pages. Volume 1 treats the sun, terrestrial space, the moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in individual chapters. Volume 2 covers Jupiter, Jupiter's satellites, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, comets, and interplanetary dust. Crammed with numbers, tables, and figures, the two volumes provide a wide range of data, such as the total energy flux of the sun and the mass density o f interplanetary dust.