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Highlight of the Month :

Viking Landing Site

On 20 July 1976, 36 years ago, the first successful Mars-landing took place that delivered comprehensive data from the surface and atmosphere. The US lander Viking 1 touched down in Chryse Planitia at 23° N and 48° W. Landing was realized with a parachute system. Only six weeks later Viking 2, the sister lander of Viking 1, touched down in the other hemisphere of Mars. The Viking landers and orbiters acquired the first global data from Mars that still serve as a scientific base today.

The landing site of Viking 1 is shown by a red cross in the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) nadir and anaglyph products. For this mission a safe landing site was selected situated on a volcanic plain with few impact craters and low slope. The landing ellipse of Viking 1, which is the region where landing will take place with 99% likelihood, had dimensions of approximately 200 x 100 km. In comparison, the landing ellipse of the US lander Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) within the Gale-crater is only approximately 20 x 10 km.

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MSL Landestelle Highlight 008 Gale Krater



The Viking 1 lander, the aeroshell, and the parachute were captured in an image of the US High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on bord the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. With a spatial resolution of up to 30 cm HiRISE can display the Viking 1 lander which has a size of approximately 2 x 3 m. The position of the HiRISE scene within the HRSC scene is framed.

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Scientific work of the planetary sciences and remote sensing group within the frame of the HRSC camera experiment are supported by the German Aerospace Center DLR with funds of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

hochaufgelöste Bilddaten / high resolution image data

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