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Viking

Viking

Name of two interplanetary space probes built by NASA, which arrived on the planet Mars in 1976, with the dual purpose of making determinations of its orbit and carrying out its surface analysis, in search of eventual forms of elementary life.

The two twin probes were launched in the summer of 1975, Viking 1, on August 20 and Viking 2, on September 9. Each was composed of an orbiter and a lander. The "orbiter" should limit themselves to entering orbit around the planet and studying their geology and meteorology; the lander had to descend on the surface and perform biological analysis.

The Viking 1 arrived near Mars on June 9, 1976 and its lander touched the surface of the planet on July 20, in a plain called Chryse Planitia; Viking 2 reached its goal on August 7, 1976 and its lander descended on September 3 in the region of Utopia Planitia.

The two landers transmitted more than 4,500 photographs of the Martian surface and more than 3 million weather reports; the two orbiter have transmitted around 52,000 images, allowing detailed maps (up to a resolution of 300 meters) of 97 percent of the surface of Mars.


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