Camera, Imager, Viking Mars Lander


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Country of Origin

United States of America


Metal, composites, plastics


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

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads