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Viking Mars lander
Viking Mars lander -

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Class: Planetary. Type: Mars. Nation: United States. Agency: NASA.

First successful soft landings made at two locations on the Martian surface and returned the first images from the surface. The orbiters extensively mapped the surface of the planet.Viking was designed to orbit Mars and to land and operate on the planet's surface. Two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter, were built. These spacecraft were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1975. They spent nearly a year cruising to Mars. Viking 1 reached Mars orbit June 19, 1976, and Viking 2 began orbiting August 7, 1976. Viking 1 landed on Mars July 20, 1976 on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) at 22.3 deg N latitude, 48 deg longitude.


Specification

Total Mass: 3,399 kg.


Viking Chronology


16 January 1966 National Academy of Sciences report outlining research objectives in lunar and planetary exploration for the 1970s and early 1980s. Program: Skylab.

The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences issued a report outlining research objectives in lunar and planetary exploration for the 1970s and early 1980s. The report affirmed earlier recommendations by the Space Science Board to NASA that unmanned exploration of Mars should have first priority in the post- Apollo space era. Secondary importance was assigned to detailed investigation of the lunar surface and to unmanned Venus probes. Clearly, the report reflected a predominant mood within the scientific community that scientific research in space take predominance over manned programs whose chief objectives, said the report, were 'other than scientific.' Additional Details: National Academy of Sciences report outlining research objectives in lunar and planetary exploration for the 1970s and early 1980s..


11 February 1974 Viking Dynamic Simulator Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. FAILURE: Failure.

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20 August 1975 Viking 1 Orbiter Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. Mass: 3,399 kg.

Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 6/19/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 7/20/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).



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09 September 1975 Viking 2 Orbiter Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. Mass: 3,399 kg.

Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 8/7/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 9/3/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).



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20 July 1976 Viking 1 landed on Mars

Viking 1 reached Mars orbit June 19, 1976. Landing was planned for the US Bicentennial on July 4, but was delayed until a suitable landing site was located. The lander separated from the orbiter and touched down on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) at 22.3 deg N latitude, 48 deg longitude.



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Bibliography:



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .