July 13, 2016 – NASA is celebrating the first successful landing on Mars by a U.S. spacecraft – Viking 1 — with a history discussion from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, July 19, and a Viking 40th anniversary symposium 8 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Portions of these events that highlight the initial steps on the Journey to Mars will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website.
The July 19 history talk will include a panel of NASA historians and Roger Launius of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, who will speak about the history of NASA’s Viking missions.
The symposium on July 20, called From NASA’s First Soft Landing to Humans on Mars, will include a lineup of about 20 speakers, including former Viking program scientists and engineers, The Martian author Andy Weir, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Technology Steve Jurczyk, and other key members contributing to past, present and future Mars missions.
Both events will stream live at:
The following events will air live on NASA TV:
Tuesday, July 19
2 to 3:30 p.m. — Viking Program History Panel
Wednesday, July 20
8:15 to 8:45 a.m. — The Exploration of Mars, with NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan
2:50 to 3:35 p.m. — Imagining Living on Mars, with Andy Weir
3:35 to 5:05 p.m. — The Future of Mars Exploration
NASA’s Viking Lander 1 successfully reached the Martian surface at 8:12 a.m. July 20, 1976. The Viking 1 and 2 missions collected an abundance of high-resolution imagery of Mars, characterized the structure and composition of the planet’s surface, and analyzed the Martian soil for signs of life, blazing a trail that will one day send humans on our journey to Mars.
Viking 1 and 2 were the most complex missions of their time. In partnership with NASA and the Langley Research Center, Lockheed Martin designed, built and tested the two landers at its facility near Denver. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, of Pasadena, California built the orbiters for the mission.
Lockheed Martin developed new technology to build the robotic arms used to collect surface samples, an array of testing instruments and flight software, and the aeroshell for each lander, which protected them as they plunged through the unknown atmosphere of Mars. The Titan IIII rockets that launched the Vikings were also built by Lockheed Martin at the same Denver facility.
Watch NASA TV streaming video, and get schedule and downlink information, at:
For more information about the Viking anniversary events, visit: