Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Old Mars Landing

About 36 years ago, JPL was doing the "Viking program". They had sent a pair of space probes entitled "Viking 1", and "Viking 2". The two crafts were supposed to take pictures of Mars' atmosphere and soil, and eventually land on Mars itself to explore the planet closely. Each craft had an orbiter for farther examination of the whole planet, and a lander, for studying the planet up close.

On July 20th, 1976, Viking 1 successfully landed on Mars. Viking 2 landed that same year on September 3rd. They arrived six weeks of each other.

The Viking 2 landing was 31 seconds late.

The crafts were about 10 feet wide and 7 feet tall, and about 1270 with no fuel.

Eventually, the mission ended, as both crafts completely failed.

On November 3rd, 1982, Viking 1 lander failed of human error. The antenna went town, causing communication to fail.

On August 17th, 1980, Viking 1 orbiter after a loss of altitude control fuel. Yikes.

On April 11th, 1980, Viking 2 lander 's battery failed.

On July 25th, 1978, Viking 2 orbiter propulsion system sprung a leak, causing the craft to shut down.

Many people spent hours a day making sure the launching and landing of these crafts launched and landed correctly. They were probably really stressed out.

1 comment:

  1. Good job on this write up. Look into the proper use of quotes. It wasn't the "Viking Program", it was the Viking Program. It would also be interesting to get some comparative analysis between the Viking spacecraft and the modern rovers.