This Week at NASA: Viking at Forty and More


This Week at NASA: Viking at Forty and More.

Forty years ago, on July 20, 1976, Viking 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to successfully land on Mars. To celebrate the anniversary of the historic robotic feat and to highlight NASA's effort to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, Langley Research Center, in Hampton, Virginia hosted a two-day "Viking at 40" event.

On July 19, NASA's Chief Historian Bill Barry moderated a history discussion about the Viking program and its contribution to Mars exploration. The next day, a 40th anniversary symposium called, "From NASA's First Soft Landing to Humans on Mars" included a host of programs and featured Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan and other NASA experts discussing the agency's Journey to Mars. Later that evening, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was on hand at Nationals Park in Washington, as Viking 1 and the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversaries were recognized during a celebration of significant American firsts. These momentous events both happened on July 20, seven years apart. Also, Hubble's Search for Exoplanet Atmospheres, Kepler's K-2 Mission Confirms over 100 Exoplanets, Back-to-Back Cargo Deliveries to the ISS, Record Climate Trends Continue, and Studying Greenhouse Gases Over the Eastern U.S.

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