Welcome to the Space Digest International Archives.
The creation of this archive was a joint effort of Dale Amon of QUB and Genesis Project Ltd (and formerly of CMU); Ted Anderson (formerly of LLNL, now with Transarc); Eugene Miya of NASA Ames; and Mark Maimone of International Space University and CMU. Thanks are also due to many others for ideas, discussion and assistance over the years. This list would certainly be a long one, but special thanks are due to Bill Higgins of FermiLab and Henry Spencer of the University of Toronto.
This archive contains a nearly complete sequence from V1 to the present. It is a combination of all other known archives and has been carefully crosschecked. It should be considered the definitive Space Digest archive. Accept no substitutes.
It is hoped that someday disk storage will become available so that we can put a hyperlinked and index-searchable version of this valuable space data resource onto the web.
Be forwarned. As the years go by these files get big. Very big. Very, VERY big. How big is that? The Volume 17 file is 15.6MB compressed... Caveat Emptor.
If you find any problems or have any of the missing issues, please notify us by mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digests are in individual files in a directory named for the volume. For those of you using NeXTsteps 3.1 Digital Librarian, each volume directory contains .index.store file (an inverted text file). Each volume is archived and compressed as a tar.gz file. Sizes range from .5 to 15MB for a single volume file.
Each volume is named according to the following standard:
digestname-volumenum.1stnum-lastnum.1stdate-lastdate and is formatted: s*-Vdd.ddd-ddd.yymm-yymm
The archive is available via http:
We request that you try to access this archive at local night time hours (GMT) if at all possible -- the current machine is also used by students on doing projects. While NFS mounts are also possible, they are discouraged for the time being.
If you would like to act as a mirror site, please send mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It all started with these two messages issued by Ted Anderson in November 1980: Announcement and First Message.
The Space Digest is similar to, but not identical to the sci.space news hierarchy. In the beginning it was a completely seperate entity. In those days there was no real connection between the Arpa Internet and NetNews. What interconnection there was between NetNews and SpaceDigest was informal, mostly through a not quite authorized gateway at UCB. As the years passed, the gatewaying between SpaceDigest and sci.space became so good that the two were basically mirrors of each other. Each group continued to use their same old familiar means of reading and posting and barely realized that the other half didn't do it the same way.
The information FAQ was first instituted on the sci.space / Space Digest, mostly through the efforts of Eugene Miya. Eugene had been discussing the need for memory with Henry Spencer and Dale Amon and others for some time. Certain threads kept starting up time and again. They went over the same facts and arguments over and over. The FAQ, which he dubbed Frequently Answered Questions and others later called Frequently Asked Questions was the answer to the problem. The idea was a good one and spread quickly to other groups.
Owen T. Anderson (Ted Anderson) was the first moderator and the author/keeper of the digestifying software. Ted ran the digest from his home at email@example.com in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory until May 1988 when he moved to Pittsburgh to join the CMU Information Technology Center. A year later he moved on to Transarc and initiated the search for a new moderator: Looking for new Space Digest moderator.
Todd Masco of the CMU Computer Science Department took over later that summer. In mid February 1990 he posted a rather good description of interplay between Space Digest and News: The SPACE Digest -- an explanation. Todd remained as moderator through 1992 but began the search for a new moderator in summer of 1991: Todd Masco Replacement Search. This search did not go well, and when Todd left CMU in March 1992 the digest went down.
The current moderator, Mark Maimone, took over in that interrum. He ported the digest software and the digest itself to its' current home on isu.isunet.edu. The long hiatus finally ended on July 14, 1992 with the first issue of volume 15: Space Digest Returns!.
The volume of postings was growing continuously and was overwhelming those who saw the Digest as a forum for useful discussion. The situation came to a head in the fall of 1993 when an ad hoc group was formed to discuss splitting sci.space into groups, some of which would be moderated. The discussions were somewhat heated, but the end result was an RFD suggesting a split into the current groups and the removal of the root group sci.space in order to force people to use the new subgroups. The RFD resulted on Oct 5,1993, and after some weeks of discussion the CFV was issued on November 10, 1993. It passed by a wide margin when the tally was done in early December: RESULT: sci.space reorganization passes. The changeover began in January 1994 and sci.space was phased out of existance in most systems by March 1994. The only difficulty with this was that as sci.space died, so did Space Digest!
The problem was solved by an heroic rewrite of the digestifier at ISU to handle multiple digests, one for each of the new sci.space groups. The multipled digest system came on line in late June 1994: Multiple Digests.
Unfortuneately this did not end the Space Digest tribulations for 1994. Around the 20th of July isu.isunet.edu self-destructed due to a power glitch. First Report. The disk was not restored until early August Second Report. And then to top it off there was an announced software change that kept the system down for further weeks. The Digests finally came back on line at the end of August: After the Crash and has been running smoothly ever since.
The darkest event in the history of sci.space and SpaceDigests was the trampling of Ken Hollis' civil liberties by the NASA KSC PAO and Lockheed Space Operations Corporation PAO management in March of 1994. For newcomers who have only heard references to "The Hollis Affair" by old timers, the entire story can be found in Ken's last posting to the net as forwarded by Henry Spencer in March of 1994. Updates were posted by Sarah Yoffa and Henry Spencer in March of 1995, on the first anniversary of the gag order.
It is my sincere hope that I will one day be able to place an addendum to this section that tells of the recinding of the NASA gag order, the return of Ken's valuable inputs to our news and digest groups...and if we're really lucky, the firing of the persons responsible for this gross violation of civil liberties.
The idea of an archive was tossed about from the mid eighties onwards in discussions between Dale Amon, Eugene Miya and others. Several people had been keeping private archives over various time spans. Eugene Miya had the most complete early set as he had acquired Ted Anderson's earliest archives; Dale's covered the period starting from 1984; Todd Masco inherited archives from Ted Anderson for the mid-eighties, added to them and passed them on to Mark Maimone; and Bill Higgins kept tape backups starting from 1987. None of the individual archives were complete.
Dale's effort was delayed by a move from CMU to Northern Ireland - network access was difficult to nonexistant there in 1989. In the interim Todd Masco put his archive on line at CMU. With the coming of internet to JANET, Dale finally was able to put up the first relatively complete online archive of the Space Digest -- a compilation taken from all the other archives.
When Mark Maimone moved the Digest to ISU, an archive was started there as well. Unfortuneatly much of it was lost in the first isu.isunet.edu disk crash. Alwin Bliek worked with Mark and set up a third archive on the list server at LISTSERV@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU when most of the subscription upkeep load was moved to that site.
Prior to 29-Oct-94 the volumes were stored as tar.Z files containing a NeXTstep 2.1 Digital Librarian .index/ directory.
The original set supplied by Eugene Miya were in concatenated files, one for each of the volumes V1-V7. Files supplied by Dale Amon and Mark Maimone were originally stored as directories, by year in the former case and by volume in the latter case. Archives supplied by Mark are the original Space Digest master archive kept by former moderator Todd Masco.
Eugene's concatenated source files contained control characters to seperate entries. Where these caused trouble with programs such as Digital Librarian 2.1 they were removed. In particular, ^O, ^_, ^H and ^D were filtered from these files. Otherwise they still contain remnants of Gene's storage format. Maybe I'll decide to clean it all out someday. Or maybe I won't.
Note that new files have been added to V8, V9, V12, V14 and V17. In particular, massive holes in V14 have been filled - thanks due to Bill Higgins. As always, if you have any of the missing issues or have any information or corrections, please let us know!
V1 Numbers 0-204 Nov 1980 to Sep 1981 Source: Eugene Miya 0-204 The initial 106 issues were un-numbered. Since the source file was a concatenated one, I had to split these by hand and name them by guessing. Since I seem to have used all the numbers, I probably guessed right. It has been noted that many netnews postings did not make it across to the arpanet digest at all. 0 was either part of 1 or a message sent by Ted Anderson before the digest officially started. 10 and 11 were empty digests. 107 is the first officially numbered issue. 155 never existed. 198,197,196 are triply embedded. 197 and 196 probably never existed other than this. V2 Numbers 1-316 Sep 1981 to Sep 1982 Source: Eugene Miya 1-316 44 and 90 duplicated in Gene's concatenated file. 97 only went to a few people; all its messages are reproduced in #98. 242 appears in 243 and may never have existed otherwise. V3 Numbers 1-225 Oct 1982 to Sep 1983 Source: Eugene Miya 1-225 53 was duplicated in Gene's concatenated file. 110 "partially butchered". 133 contains message after END. 134 "what this digest would have looked like". 55 with 53 embedded. 149 and 150 never existed. V4 Numbers 0-318 Oct 1983 to Sep 1984 Source: Eugene Miya 0-318 77 and 88 were duplicated in Gene's concatenated file. 253 is taken from the embedded copy in 254. 86 and 85, 254 and 253 are imbedded. V5 Numbers 0-254 Oct 1984 to Sep 1985 Source: Eugene Miya 0-244, 246-254 Dale Amon 245 54 and 53, 167 and 166, 237 and 236 are embedded. 93, 119, 198 have an entry after the END. 245 was misnumbered as 160 and contains an embedded '159' that isn't. Gene's copy replaced by Dale's because a posting was missing from it. V6 Numbers 0-403 Oct 1985 to Sep 1986 Source: Eugene Miya 0-113,115-403 Missing 114 Ted Anderson didn't have a copy of 114 either and requested one in an administrivia post in 141. V7 Numbers 0-368 Oct 1986 to Sep 1987 Source: Eugene Miya 000-250, 270-275 Dale Amon 251-269, 276-368 67 has imbedded copy of 66. V8 Numbers 0-384 Oct 1987 to Sep 1988 Source: Dale Amon 0-25,27,28,30-59,61-89,92-266,269-384 Mark Maimone 267-268 Bill Higgins 60,90,91 Missing 26,29 192 has an embedded, garbaged copy of 180. 254 contains a 231, 264 contains a 240. 291 contains a garbage message. I removed a ^O since it interfered with Digital Librarian's indexing. Cannot tell whether the message was garbaged originally or recently. V9 Numbers 0-620 Oct 1988 to Aug 1989 Source: Dale Amon 0-399,401-500,502-544,546,573,617 Mark Maimone 400,501,545,547-572,574-616,618-620 Bill Higgins 503 Missing "621" 272 contains embedded 259 335 contains embedded 323 341 contains embedded 338 342 contains embedded 329 343 contains embedded 336 617-620 were put together by Todd Masco by hand and are not in standard format. 617 Two copies were issued. The first was missing the table of contents. Otherwise they are identical. Only the complete copy is included. 618 was misnumbered as 619. There is a 610K non-issue of messages in the queue when digest was down. If anyone has a copy of this "621" issue, please notify us. V10 Numbers 0-500 Aug 1989 to Feb 1990 Source: Mark Maimone 0-35,40,41,43,45,52-57,59-166,168-212, 214-450,463-465,500 Dale Amon 58a,58b,167a,167b,213,451-462 Missing 36-39,42,44,46-51,466-499 58 was used twice. Named them a & b, used D. Amon copies. 167 was used twice. Named them a & b, used D. Amon copies. 213 in Masco Archive was empty, replaced by D. Amon copies. 214 in Masco Archive was truncated, replaced by D. Amon copies. There was an outage from about Jan 21-Jan 31 1990. 451-465 appear to be catch up issues and 500 is a massive compilation of articles from "while the Digest was down". Because of this, I suspect that there were no issues 466-499. V11 Numbers 1-598 Feb 1990 to Jul 1990 Source: Mark Maimone 1-206,207-208,210-501,503-590,593-597 Dale Amon 207,209,502,591-592,598 Missing 322 140-142 never existed due to a burp in digest numbering system. V12 Numbers 1-724 Jul 1990 to Jan 1991 Source: Mark Maimone 3-23,25-36,28-36,38-44,46-47,49-53,55-59,61-67, 70-76,78-79,81-89,91-92,94-95,97-100,102,104, 106,108-110,113-116,118,121,123,125,127, 129-131,135,139,141,143-145,148,150,179,227, 430-454,456-528,530-600,602-724 Dale Amon 1-2,24,27,37,45,48,54,60,68-69,77,80,90,93,96, 101,103,105,107,111-112,117,119,122,124,126, 128,132-134,140,142,146-147,149,151-178, 180-226,228-429,455,529,601 Bill Higgins 8,16,98,114 226 is screwed up, may have been transmitted that way. V13 Numbers 1-955 Jan 1991 to Jul 1991 Source: Mark Maimone 1-798 Dale Amon 799-955 Missing 43, 45-49 The "End of SPACE Digest" issue numbers were wrong in the first 7 issues: 1 877924 2 2029388 3 876404 4 1970680 5 878876 6 2017308 7 1961320 451 and 447, 452 and 448, 453 and 449, 454 and 451,456 and 453, 460 and 452 are embedded issues. V14 Numbers 0-1087 Aug 1991 to Apr 1992 Source: Dale Amon 0-1087 Bill Higgins 80-81,83-121,515-532,599,628,634-635,639-645, 779,781,783,785-788,791,872,874-875, 964,970,976,983,993-996,998 Missing 7-18, 683, sci.space postings Ap92-Jul92 The Digest went down in late April when Todd Masco left CMU and stayed down until July when Mark Maimone finished porting it to isu.isunet.edu. V15 Numbers 1-635 Jul 1992 to Jan 1993 Source: anon ftp to isu.isunet.edu 1-30 Dale Amon 31-635 V16 Numbers 1-1000 Jan 1993 to Aug 1993 Source: Dale Amon 1-1000 Missing 120,143,175,631,635 287 was partially appended to 288. The archive copy is simply this portion extracted from 288. 288 was left alone: it still contains this portion of 287. 120,143,175 may not have existed. They did not even appear at isu.isunet.edu. 410 was used twice. The two different issues are held as v16no410a and v16no410b. Mark Maimone claimed that an issues worth of netnews feed was lost in between 409 and 410. I wonder if this is it? 100 was used twice, but one of them was actually 1000. They are included as v16no100 and v16no1000. V17 Numbers 1-994 Aug 1993 to Jun 1994 Source: Dale Amon 1-127,129-286,288-327, 329-343,345-371, 393-471,493-677,684-994 isu.isunet.edu 472-492 LISTSERV@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU 128,328,372-392,678-683 Bill Higgins 344,375 Missing 287 231 was used on two different dates, Sept 16 (231a) and Sept 27 (231b). 262 is embedded in a copy of 261. 322 was issued twice, the second (322b) with "long lines wrapped". 345 was used on two different dates, Oct 11 (345a) and Oct 23 (345b). Space Digest posting volume decreased drastically for several months (starting in February) after the change in the netnews sci.space hierarchy. The maintainer did not have time available to update the digest software to reflect the changes on the netnews side. The volume was stopped at 994 when another glitch occured during the switchover to the new multiple-digest organization. V18 Numbers 1-939 Jun 1994 to Jun 1996 Source: Dale Amon 10-939 isu.isunet.edu 1-9 This is the first volume under the title Space Tech Digest. The old Space Digest reflected sci.space contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of sci.space.*. SpaceTechDigest carries on the tradition and numbering of the original SpaceDigest.
SPD1 Numbers 1-1123 Jun 1994 to Sep 1995 Source: Dale Amon 1-1123 This is the first volume under the title Space Policy Digest.The old Space Digest reflected sci.space contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of sci.space.*. SPD2 Numbers 1-914 Sep 1995 to May 1996 Source: Dale Amon 1-914 isu.isunet.edu SPD3 Numbers 1-994 May 1996 to Nov 1996 Source: Dale Amon 1-994 isu.isunet.edu SPD4 Numbers 1-993 Nov 1996 to Jul 1997 Source: Dale Amon 1-888,914-987,989-994 isu.isunet.edu 889-913,988
SShD1 Numbers 1-837 Jun 1994 to Sep 1995 Source: Dale Amon 1-837 isu.isunet.edu This is the first volume under the title Space Shuttle Digest.The old Space Digest reflected sci.space contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of sci.space.*. SShD2 Numbers 1-970 Sep 1995 to Jan 1997 Source: Dale Amon 1-970 isu.isunet.edu These are all valid, possibly caused by a forwarding loop or newbie: 892 with embedded 890 893 embedded with 891 embedded 895 with embedded 892 with embedded 890, followed by embedded 894 and spam from a scumbag 896 with 893 embedded with 891 embedded
SSD1 Numbers 1-985 Jun 1994 to Jul 1997 Source: Dale Amon 1-966,975-985 isu.isunet.edu 967-974 This is the first volume under the title Space Science Digest.The old Space Digest reflected sci.space contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of sci.space.*.