Current data indicate that Mars, like the Earth and Moon, will have a soil-like layer. An understanding of this soil-like layer is an essential ingredient in understanding the Martian ecology. The Viking Lander and its subsystems will be used in a manner similar to that used by Sue Surveyor program to define properties of the Martian "soil". Data for estimates of bearing strength, cohesion, angle of internal friction, porosity, grain size, adhesion, thermal inertia, dielectric constants, and homogeneity of the Martian surface materials will be collected. ?? 1972.
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Martian physical properties experiments: The Viking Mars Lander