September 3rd, 1976 marks the day when Viking 2 landed on Mars; part of the American Viking Program to Mars, its mission was to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet. The lander operated on its surface for 1316 days and returned about 16,000 images to Earth. After its batteries failed on April 12th, 1980, NASA turned the orbiter off.
The Viking 2 orbiter touched down about 124 miles from the Utopia crater and cameras immediately began taking images and went on to experiment with the soil and grabble with the results, given the reaction of inorganic chemicals. While the topic of life on Mars remains controversial to this day, scientific evidence shows that huge river valleys existed in many areas of the planet and that rain once fell. Making Mars habitable by humans would require complex support systems, including water processing.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Bloom, M. (1975, Aug 10). Viking: A Trip In Search Of Life On Mars. Newsday (1940-1990)
- Bloom, M. (1976, Mar 14). Sending the Birthday Party To Mars. Newsday (1940-1990)
- Viking On Mars: It's Fantastic' Landing: Viking In A Safe Landing On Mars Gentle Touchdown On Planet Hailed As 'Fantastic, Beautiful'. (1976, Jul 20). Newsday (1940-1990)
- Mars: A Red Desert, Pink Skies. (1976, Jul 22). Newsday (1940-1990)
- Viking 2 Mars Landing Set For Sept. 3: Strange Surface Patterns. (1976, Aug 19). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Viking 2 Checking Mars For Landing. (1976, Sep 02). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Water and Viking 2 On Mars. (1976, Sep 03). The Sun (1837-1993)
- Sullivan, W. (1976, Sep 04). Viking 2 Lander Settles On Mars And Sends Signal. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Viking 2 Safely On Mars. (1976, Sep 04). Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Alexander, G. (1976, Sep 04). Viking 2 Sets Down On Mars' Utopia Plain. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Gillette, R. (1976, Sep 23). Mars Polar Cap Mainly Water Ice, Data Indicate. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Viking 2 Claw Digs Mars Soil. (1976, Sep 26). The Austin American Statesman (1973-1987)
- Alexander, G. (1976, Oct 01). Prospects Fading For Discovery Of Life On Mars: Hopes Dim On Finding Mars Life. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Chang, K. (2009, Sep 29). The Red Planet May Be Better Known As The Wet One. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Chang, K. (2010, Sep 04). Accepted Notion of Mars As Lifeless Is Challenged. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Check out The Mars Mission on rhizr -- an immersive learning experience conducted at the Smith Learning Theater, Gottesman Libraries, at the opening of the 2018-2019 academic year.
- Bell, Jim. Postcards From Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet. New York: Plume, 2010. Curr QB641 .B45 2010
- Clancy, William J. Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. e-book
- Hubbard, Scott. Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2011. e-book
- Lane, K. Maria D. Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet. Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 2011. e-book
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