The national programs in aeronautics and space made steady progress in 1977 toward their long-term objectives. In aeronautics the goals were improved performance, energy efficiency, and safety in aircraft. In space the goals were: (1) better remote sensing systems to generate more sophisticated information about the Earth’s environment; (2) cost-effective, versatile space transportation; and (3) understanding the origins and processes of the Earth, the solar system, and the Universe. Aeronautic research made real gains toward developing technologies that would enable future transport aircraft to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50% along with lower noise and emission levels. The United States attempted 26 launches into space in 1977; 24 of them put 29 satellites into orbit.
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