NASA to Host Media Events Marking Anniversary of First Mars Landing

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 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.

Media interested in attending the talk and/or all or parts of the symposium should contact Sasha Ellis at or 757-272-9859 no later than noon July 19.

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.

Watch NASA TV streaming video, and get schedule and downlink information, at:

For more information about the Viking anniversary events, visit:

For more information about NASA’s Journey to Mars, visit:

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