Scientific Results of the Viking Missions

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Science  17 Dec 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4271, pp. 1274-1276
DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4271.1274


The two Viking missions to Mars have been extraordinarily successful. Thirteen scientific investigations yielded information about the atmosphere and surface. Two orbiters and landers operating for several months photographed the surface extensively from 1500 kilometers and directly on the surface. Measurements were made of the atmospheric composition, the surface elemental abundance, the atmospheric water vapor, temperature of the surface, and meteorological conditions; direct tests were made for organic material and living organisms. The question of life on Mars remains unanswered. The Viking spacecraft are designed to continue the investigations for at least one Mars year.