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September 3, 1976: Viking 2 Lands on Mars (a look back)

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posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 01:32 PM

1976: Viking 2, the second mission to Mars, lands on the planet and begins transmitting pictures and soil analyses.

Utopia Planitia covered in a thin layer of frost.

The Viking mission went to Mars to look for signs of life, to study the soil and atmosphere, and to take pictures. There were two launches of paired orbiters and landers, aboard Titan-Centaur rockets. Each orbiter took pictures of candidate landing sites before the final landing sequence began. The Viking landers arrived on Mars within six weeks of one another in 1976.

Viking 2’s landing was more dramatic than NASA might have hoped: As the lander separated and began to descend, the orbiter’s stabilization system went awry, blacking out for almost an hour. The craft rolled in a way that its main antenna no longer pointed to Earth.


And the story continues from there at the source. Be sure to check out the first photo at the source story. One can click on in and really zoom in on the surface (I think it is call Viking Self-Portrait.

What can I say, I love this stuff. I wasn't old enough to care about such things but today I enjoy learning it as if I was 12/13 again. I hope you do to.

One can check out the whole Viking pic archive (link at the bottom of last pic-I couldn't get it to work in this post).

Also, besure to check out the story links at the end of the source story for other interesting info about the programs etc.

Looking at the photos, I can't say todays are much better. hmmmm (okay, I won't go there now). Enjoy.

posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 02:28 PM
I really do miss the old images. The ones now just look so fake and done in photoshop. I know they aren't fake but they just look so bad. The older pictures were better to look at.

I was looking at various pics and there one in particular I just happened to click on and I want to know why the bottom right corner looks better than the rest of the pic. Why does the rest of it look overly enhanced? Im not saying there is anything to it but does any see what I am saying? I dont like these new pics.

Picture Source NASA

[edit on 9/3/2010 by mblahnikluver]

posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 03:00 PM
reply to post by mblahnikluver

I agree with you about the differences in pics and their appearences. I like the one ones myself. Like the one I note in the OP about the pic in the source link that I couldn't get loaded. One can click/zoom way in and look around etc.

I believe that IF they are enhancing the photos and stuff with these brighter/clearer images etc. They are trying to demostrate what is there in the best light.

We had a discussion on this topic on a theard of mine a while back. I'll see if I can find it.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:07 AM
JPL has an open-house every time there's a major event, such as a planetary encounter or a probe landing. I was there for the Viking 2 landing. I was 12 at the time.

My parents had been to the Viking 1 landing, but it was early in the morning and they didn't take me. I got up early and tried to watch it on TV, but the reception was bad, and I only had the sound of people oohing & ahhing over the first pictures. I was furious, and it didn't abate when Mom & Dad came home with vivid descriptions of what it was like and what they saw.

Being there for the Viking 2 landing was great fun. I loved poking around JPL and seeing the labs & exhibits. I even saw Leonard Nimoy being escorted into the VIP area. Then the moment of truth came: sitting nervously waiting for the telemetry to confirm a successful landing. It came, but with it the news of a downlink problem that delayed transmission of the first pictures. I thought I would be bitterly disappointed (the pix didn't downlink 'til the next day, iirc), but I had such a good time just being there that it overwhelmed all other thoughts.

Good times...

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:04 AM
thats not mars, thats death valley in CA, we dont have ANYTHING on mars, its a soundstage somwewhere in CA
Wait! thats the same soundstage they used for the moon landing, only they painted everything red

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