Mars Exploring The Planets Mars

The Viking Mission


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Viking Lander on display in the Milestones of Flight Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum.
Smithsonian Institution photograph.
  Vikings 1 and 2 were designed to study Mars in great detail. They were launched in 1975 and arrived at Mars in 1976. Each spacecraft consisted of two parts: an Orbiter and a Lander. The Viking 1 and 2 Orbiters studied Mars from orbit for six and four years respectively, returning thousands of images of the planet. The two Viking Landers descended through the thin atmosphere and landed on the surface of Mars. They eventually became the longest-surviving active laboratories on the surface of another world, far surpassing their original six-month design lifetime. Lander 2 provided information on the Martian environment for about four years and Lander 1 for more than six years.

In 1980 Lander 1 was named the Mutch Memorial Station, in honor of Thomas A. Mutch, one of the chief scientists for the mission.

Touchdown on Mars - The Viking Landers.
A Laboratory on Mars
- Experiments and Cameras on the Viking Landers.
The Deep Space Network
- Receiving Data from the Viking Spacecraft.
Viking Lander Views - Mars Surface Images from the Viking Landers. .


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