The geology of the terrestrial planets.
During the last four years our knowledge of the geology of the terrestrial planets has advanced rapidly. The advances are particularly noticeable for Venus and Mars. Improved understanding of Venus has come largely from the Pioneer Venus mission. The period was also one of almost continuous data gathering for Mars as the Viking orbiters and landers, emplaced at the planet in 1976, continued to function. The last orbiter ran out of attitude- control gas in August of 1980 by which time about 55 000 pictures and vast amounts of infrared data had been collected. One lander continues to function and is expected to do so for several years. Only modest advances were made in the cases of Moon and Mercury, however, for little new data was acquired. -from Author