Space Digest International Archives

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: or


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 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:


and is formatted:



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: or


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 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 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 / 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 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 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 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 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: reorganization passes. The changeover began in January 1994 and was phased out of existance in most systems by March 1994. The only difficulty with this was that as 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 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 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 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 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 the leading volume numbers are hotspots to down load the corresponding tar.gz file for that volume. Remember what we said earlier. These files get very big as the years go by!

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,
		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,
		Dale Amon	1-2,24,27,37,45,48,54,60,68-69,77,80,90,93,96,
		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,
		Missing		7-18, 683, 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

V15	Numbers	1-635				Jul 1992 to Jan 1993
	Source:	anon ftp to	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
	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,
					393-471,493-677,684-994		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
	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

        This is the first volume under the title Space Tech Digest. The
        old Space Digest reflected contents. As of this volume,
        the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the 
        new subgroups of*. 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 contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of*. SPD2 Numbers 1-914 Sep 1995 to May 1996 Source: Dale Amon 1-914 SPD3 Numbers 1-994 May 1996 to Nov 1996 Source: Dale Amon 1-994 SPD4 Numbers 1-993 Nov 1996 to Jul 1997 Source: Dale Amon 1-888,914-987,989-994 889-913,988
SShD1 Numbers 1-837 Jun 1994 to Sep 1995 Source: Dale Amon 1-837 This is the first volume under the title Space Shuttle Digest.The old Space Digest reflected contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of*. SShD2 Numbers 1-970 Sep 1995 to Jan 1997 Source: Dale Amon 1-970 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 1-966,975-985 967-974 This is the first volume under the title Space Science Digest.The old Space Digest reflected contents. As of this volume, the contents are split into multiple digests, one for each of the new subgroups of*.

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