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Camera, Imager, Viking Mars Lander

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This object is on display in the Exploring The Planets exhibition at the National Mall building.


Manufacturer: ITEK Corporation

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Overall: 1 ft. 4in. tall x 8 1/2 in. wide, 16 lb. (40.64 x 21.59cm, 7.3kg)

Materials: Metal, composites, plastics

Each Viking Lander was equipped with two identical cameras that, unlike conventional cameras, did not use film. Instead, a moveable mirror scanned a vertical segment of the martian scene, and photodetectors recorded the amount of light reflected into the camera. A complete picture, or "image" of the surface was made by completing a vertical scan, and then rotating the camera slightly for the next scan.

This back-up camera was transferred from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the Museum in 1981.

Transferred from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Inventory number: A19810661000

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