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Monday, June 5, 2017

Viking 1 Orbiter

NASA's Viking Program consists of Viking-1 and Viking-2. Of these Viking-1 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to land on Mars. It Successfully landed on Mars on 20 July 1976. It occupies the second longest operated mission on Mars. The first place was occupied by Opportunity Rover which landed on 19 Mars 2010.Viking-1 Spacecraft carried a Orbiter and a Lander. The Viking-1 Lander performed Biological Experiment on the surface of Mars.
 START OF MISSION:

    Viking-1 Orbiter with Lander was carried by Titan IIIE/Centaur Rocket on 20 August 1975 at  11:53:06 UTC. Viking-1 after placed into its trajectory path to Mars, it traveled a period of 10 months and beamed back images of Mars Five days before its orbital insertion. Viking-1 Orbiter was successfully inserted into Martian Orbit on 19 July 1976. After orbital insertion Viking-1 Lander separated from orbiter at 08:51 UTC and performed successful landing on Mars at 11:53:06 UTC. This became the first lander to land on Mars.

INSTRUMENTS CARRIED BY ORBITER:
  • Vidicon Cameras
  • Infrared Spectrometer
  • Water vapor mapper
  • Infrared Radiometers
  • Thermal Mapper  
ORBITER:

     The Viking-1 Orbiter became a communication relay between Viking-1 Lander and Earth. It performed various operation during its period from 19 June 1976 to 16 August 1980 and operations were terminated on 17 August 1980, because it was ran out of control gas.

LANDER:

       The lander separated from orbiter on 20 July 1976 and it orbited around mars at a speed of 5km per hour. Its retrorockets fired and landed safely on Martian Surface using its parachute. During its landing its Mass Spectrometer measured pressure, temperature and density sensors. After successful landing of Viking-1 Lander, it began its operations after 25 seconds.The lander operated for a period of 6 years on Mars.It conducted various experiments, but in an attempt to program a new software it lost its communication.

INSTRUMENTS CARRIED BY LANDER:
  • Two Facsimile Cameras
  • Analyser for Metabolism
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer
  • X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer
  • Sensors to measure temperature, pressure,wind and velocity
  • Three-axis seismometer
  • A Magnet on a sampler
  • Cameras and various sensors     
MISSION OUTCOMES:

      The Viking-1 Lander took biological experiment for the search of life, but the team got positive results. Some believe that the result was false due to various reasons. But NASA observed many changes to the surface near the viking landing site and they predict that, this change due to the inorganic chemical reactions. Life may be present.

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