Encyclopedia Astronautica
Viking



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Viking Mars lander
Credit: NASA
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Viking Test Seq 03
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Viking Test Seq 02
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Viking Test Seq 04
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Viking Test Seq 06
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Viking Test Seq 08
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Viking Test Seq 07
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Viking Test Seq 01
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Viking Test Seq 05
American Mars lander. 5 launches, 1974.02.11 (Viking Dynamic Simulator) to 1975.09.09 (Viking 2 Lander). First successful soft landings made at two locations on the Martian surface and returned the first images from the surface.

The orbiters extensively mapped the surface of the planet. Viking was designed to orbit Mars and to land and operate on the planet's surface. Two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter, were built. These spacecraft were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1975. They spent nearly a year cruising to Mars. Viking 1 reached Mars orbit June 19, 1976, and Viking 2 began orbiting August 7, 1976. Viking 1 landed on Mars July 20, 1976 on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) at 22.3 deg N latitude, 48 deg longitude.

Gross mass: 3,399 kg (7,493 lb).
First Launch: 1974.02.11.
Last Launch: 1975.09.09.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Titan 3E American orbital launch vehicle. Titan 3D with Centaur D-1T upper stage. Used by NASA for deep space missions in 1970's. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking Mission to Mars Factsheet, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking Lander Atlas of Mars, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking orbiter views of Mars, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Flight and mission operations support for Voyager spacecraft launching and Viking-Mars mission, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Martian landscape; Viking Mars mission and photographs, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking 75 project: Viking lander system primary mission performance report, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking 1: early results; Mars atmosphere and surface examinations, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking-1 post launch report no. 1, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking 75 Project: Viking Data Analysis Team Report, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Viking Mission To Mars, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking-1 Post Launch Report No. 1, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Viking Mosaic Catalog, Volume 1, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Phobos: Close Encounter Imaging From The Viking Orbiters, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking '75 Spacecraft Design and Test Summary. Volume 1: Lander Design, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking '75 Spacecraft Design and Test summary. Volume 2: Orbiter Design, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking '75 Spacecraft Design and Test Summary. Volume 3: Engineering Test Summary, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking MarsLander 1975 Dynamic Test Model/Orbiter Developmental Test Model Forced Vibration Test, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking 75 Orbiter system test and launch operations. Volume 1: System test, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Viking 75 orbiter system test and launch operations. Volume 2: Launch operations, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Viking mission to Mars, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC41 Titan, Atlas V launch complex. Complexes 40 and 41 were constructed as part of the Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) Titan launch facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Over the next three decades, the complexes supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV. Complex 41 was deactivated at the end of 1977, then upgraded for the Titan IV program in the 1986-88 period. In October 1999, Complex 41 was demolished with high explosives in order for a new pad for launch of the Atlas 5 rocket to be erected. By then it had been the starting point for 27 Titan flights. More...

Viking Chronology


1966 January 16 - .
  • National Academy of Sciences report outlining research objectives in lunar and planetary exploration for the 1970s and early 1980s. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Viking. The Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences issued a report outlining research objectives in lunar and planetary exploration for the 1970s and early 1980s. The report affirmed earlier recommendations by the Space Science Board to NASA that unmanned exploration of Mars should have first priority in the post- Apollo space era. Secondary importance was assigned to detailed investigation of the lunar surface and to unmanned Venus probes. Clearly, the report reflected a predominant mood within the scientific community that scientific research in space take predominance over manned programs whose chief objectives, said the report, were 'other than scientific.' Additional Details: here....

1974 February 11 - . 13:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. LV Configuration: Titan IIIE 23E-1 / Centaur D-1T E-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Viking Dynamic Simulator - . Payload: VDS. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Viking. COSPAR: F740211B.

1975 August 20 - . 21:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. LV Configuration: Titan IIIE 23E-4 / Centaur D-1T E-4.
  • Viking 1 Orbiter - . Payload: Viking 1. Mass: 3,399 kg (7,493 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Viking. USAF Sat Cat: 8108 . COSPAR: 1975-075A. Summary: Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 6/19/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 7/20/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • Viking 1 Lander - . Payload: Viking 1. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Viking. Decay Date: 1976-07-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 9024 . COSPAR: 1975-075C. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1975 September 9 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. LV Configuration: Titan IIIE 23E-3 / Centaur D-1T E-3.
  • Viking 2 Orbiter - . Mass: 3,399 kg (7,493 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Viking. USAF Sat Cat: 8199 . COSPAR: 1975-083A. Summary: Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 8/7/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 9/3/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • Viking 2 Lander - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Viking. Decay Date: 1976-08-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 9408 . COSPAR: 1975-083C. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1976 July 20 - .
  • Viking 1 landed on Mars - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Viking. Viking 1 reached Mars orbit June 19, 1976. Landing was planned for the US Bicentennial on July 4, but was delayed until a suitable landing site was located. The lander separated from the orbiter and touched down on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) at 22.3 deg N latitude, 48 deg longitude.

1976 July 20 - .
  • Viking 1, Mars Landing - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Viking.

1976 August 7 - .
  • Viking 2, Mars Orbit Insertion - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Viking.

1976 September 3 - .
  • Viking 2, Mars Landing - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Viking.

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