Range Tracking

Red Planet Remembrances


With so much attention focused on Mars these days it is worth looking back at the first two landers to successfully make it to the ground and carry out an extensive scientific program. This happened way back in the Bicentennial year of 1976 when the Viking 1 and 2 orbiters successfully navigated their way to the Red Planet before releasing their precious cargo of atomic-powered landers to descend to the surface where the two landers photographed their surroundings while digging into the Martian soil in an attempt to look for microbial life all the while monitoring the weather and the changing seasons. An engineering model of a Viking lander is on display at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, where it is displayed on a replica of the Martian surface complete with trenches dug into the soil by the lander’s robotic arm as it collected samples to study in the onboard automated biological laboratories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: