Milestones: 16 Years Ago In TIME

Worrying about Soviet dominance in space seems so last century. But in 1988, when TIME ran a cover on the exploration of MARS, the U.S. still fretted about the competition.

After a hiatus of a dozen years, during which neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union mounted missions to Mars, a spacecraft is once again on its way, opening a new era in the exploration of the earth's closest planetary neighbor. During the next decade or so, the Soviets will launch a series of increasingly sophisticated unmanned Mars probes that they hope will culminate in a joint U.S.-Soviet manned mission to...

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