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Camera, Imager, Viking Mars Lander


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Exploring the Planets exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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


Credit Line

Transferred from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Metal, composites, plastics


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

Country of Origin

United States of America


SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads

Inventory Number