NASA missions- Viking missions
NASA's Viking project was a series of missions to explore Mars.
Dates of Discovery/ies:
Viking 1 launch August 20 1975 - arrival June 19 1976 - concluding August 7 1980
Viking 2 launch September 9 1975 - arrival August 7 1976 - concluding July 25 1978
What was the Discovery/ies:
The two landers conducted three biology experiments designed to look for possible signs of life. These experiments discovered unexpected and enigmatic chemical activity in the Martian soil, but provided no clear evidence for the presence of living microorganism so in soil near the landing sites.
According to scientists, Mars is self sterilising. They believed the combination of solar ultraviolet radiation that saturates the surface, extreme dryness of the soil and the oxidising nature of the soil chemistry prevent the formation of living organisms in the Martian soils.
Technology used of the time :
Two identical spacecrafts,each consisting of a lander and the orbiter, were built. Each orbiter - lander pair flew together and entered Mars orbit. The landers then separated and descended to the planets surface.
Some Science instruments used
Gas chromatograph/ mass spectrometer
Stereo colour cameras
What contribution did they make to our knowledge and understanding of the solar system:
It gave us the understanding and knowledge of what it is like on Mars eg. Climate, environment and if there was any life form present.