Viking Lander

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    Viking Lander

    10 x 10 x 6ft. high; full-scale proof-test model; grey.

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    Viking Lander

    10 x 10 x 6ft. high; full-scale proof-test model; grey.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Viking Lander

    10 x 10 x 6ft. high; full-scale proof-test model; grey.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Viking Lander

    10 x 10 x 6ft. high; full-scale proof-test model; grey.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Viking Lander

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the gas chromatograph — mass spectrometer of the Viking Mars Lander.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Viking Lander

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the camera of the Viking Mars Lander.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Viking Lander

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the terminal descent engine of the Viking Mars Lander.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Viking Lander

    10 x 10 x 6ft. high; full-scale proof-test model; grey.

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    Viking Lander

    The Viking spacecraft scooped up bits of Martian soil and placed them in a chamber, where they could be analyzed. It was in effect a miniature, automated chemical analysis laboratory. 

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    Mars Rovers

    These two test rovers and a flight spare represen three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Front and center is the flight spare for the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Project. On the left is a Mars Exploration Rover Project test rover that is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. On the right is a Mars Science Laboratory test rover the size of that project's Mars rover, Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012.

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    Viking Mars Lander GCMS

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the gas chromatograph ? mass spectrometer of the Viking Mars Lander.
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    Viking Mars Lander Camera

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the camera of the Viking Mars Lander.
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    Viking Mars Lander Antenna

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the antenna of the Viking Mars Lander.

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    Viking Mars Lander Terminal Descent Engine

    This is the proof test model of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia. Highlighted in this image is the terminal descent engine of the Viking Mars Lander.
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    Viking Lander Digging Arm

    The long digging arm on the Viking lander, like this one on the Museum's Viking Lander, collected soil for experiments.

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    Viking Lander Sample Canisters

    Viking dropped soil samples into three canisters like these on top of the Museum's Viking Lander spacecraft for testing.

     

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    Carl Sagan with Viking

    Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan stands in front of a Viking lander mockup in Death Valley, California. Sagan helped select the landing sites and plan the Viking missions and was a tireless promoter of the Viking program and related explorations of Mars and other planets. 

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

This is the proof test article of the Viking Mars Lander. For exploration of Mars, Viking represented the culmination of a series of exploratory missions that had begun in 1964 with Mariner 4 and continued with Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 flybys in 1969 and a Mariner 9 orbital mission in 1971 and 1972. The Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking 1 spent nearly a year cruising to Mars, placed an orbiter in operation around the planet, and landed on July, 20 1976 on the Chryse Planitia (Golden Plains). Viking 2 was launched on September 9, 1975 and landed on September 3, 1976. The Viking project's primary mission ended on November 15, 1976, 11 days before Mars's superior conjunction (its passage behind the sun), although the Viking spacecraft continued to operate for six years after first reaching Mars. The last transmission from the planet reached Earth on November 11, 1982.

While Viking 1 and 2 were on Mars, this third vehicle was used on Earth to simulate their behavior and to test their responses to radio commands. Earlier, it had been used to demonstrate that the landers could survive the stresses they would encounter during the mission.

NASA transferred this artifact to the Museum in 1979.