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1972 Henry Starling meets President Richard Nixon.
1976 Viking 2 lands on Mars at Utopia Planitia and sends images from the planet's red surface to Earth. Viking conducts experiments to discover the presence of microorganisms. The test results are debated.
1976 NASA unveils its first reusable orbiting craft, or shuttle, named Enterprise (Space Shuttle OV-101). Flight testing begins the following year.
1977 The first spaceship Enterprise undergoes flight testing.
July 11, 1979 The American space station Skylab burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
1983 Pioneer 10 passes Pluto's orbit boundary and becomes the first man-made object to exit Earth's solar system. The probe carries an engraved plaque with a message of greetings from the people of Earth.
January 28, 1986 NASA's space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lift-off, killing all seven on board including the first civilian in space. The tragedy brings the space program to a temporary halt, pending an investigation.
1986 The first human habitat to permanently orbit Earth, the Mir space station, begins construction. Mir becomes a shared resource and training ground for future space stations.
July 1986 A Klingon Bird of Prey piloted by Kirk and his crew lands in San Francisco to take two humpback whales back to the future.
1992 Khan Noonien Singh rises to power, assuming dictatorial control over one quarter of the planet Earth, from South Asia to the Middle East. Khan is the product of genetic engineering and eugenics experiments.
1992 The book, Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, is published.
1993 A group of eugenically bred "superior" humans simultaneously seize control in some forty of the Earth's nations.
1994 An organization that places dead loved ones into cryogenic capsules orbiting Earth receives a brief surge of popularity. The hope is that future generations will revive the departed. Among those frozen are Ralph Offenhouse and Claire Raymond.