Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Viking has landed (1976)!

Viking 1, the first of two spacecraft sent to Mars as NASA's Viking program, landed on Mars, July 20, 1976, on the 7th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.  Viking 1 touched down in the Chryse Planitia and transmitted its first picture within 25 seconds, taking 4 minutes to complete the transmission.  The Viking spacecraft were designed to search for life on the Red Planet, but did not find any evidence.

Viking 1 operated for about 6 years until a faulty command sent to the lander resulted in loss of the signal.  The Mars Reconaissance Orbiter took a picture of it in 2006.

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