The Viking landing sites: Selection and certification

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During the past several years the Viking project developed plans to use Viking orbiter instruments and Earth-based radar to certify the suitability of the landing sites selected as the safest and most scientifically rewarding using Mariner 9 data. During June and July 1976, the Earth-based radar and orbital spacecraft observations of some of the prime and backup sites were completed. The results of these combined observations indicated that the Viking 1 prime landing area in the Chryse region of Mars is geologically varied and possibly more hazardous than expected, and was not certifiable as a site for the Viking 1 landing. Consequently, the site certification effort had to be drastically modified and lengthened to search for a site that might be safe enough to attempt to land. The selected site considered at 47.5??W,22.4??N represented a compromise between desirable characteristics observed with visual images and those inferred from Earth-based radar. It lies in the Chryse region about 900 kilometers northwest of the original site. Viking 1 landed successfully at this site on 20 July 1976.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The Viking landing sites: Selection and certification
Series title Science
Volume 193
Issue 4255
Year Published 1976
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Science
First page 809
Last page 812
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