Talk:Viking 1

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Test of General Relativity ?![edit]

"Scientists sent radio signals to the lander on Mars, and instructed the lander to send back signals. Scientists then found that the time signals needed to make a round trip match the prediction of Gravitational Time Dilation."

Well, time dilation due to (rather feeble) gravity field of Mars will be many orders of magnitude smaller than delay due to uncertainty of Earth-Mars distance, delays in electronics which processes received signal and sends echo back, and even slight variations of signal propagation thru the solar wind.

If I am wrong, I would like to read about this experiment. Any URLs?

Did the Viking use a digital camera?[edit]

Sorry if this sounds like an obvious question but it just occured to me that the photos would have to have been transmitted electronically, meaning the photos could never have been film, right? The picture at the top of the article (with the rock left of centre) is of amazing quality for a digital camera of 1975. I never even knew they had them back then! --Matt0401 11:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

The Viking cameras were digital, yes, and worked kind of like a scanner, so that the image was created by sweeping a vertical line of sensors from left to right to create a panorama. This put very simple, of course. The original data is of very high quality. Ricnun 22:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree... the photos were of amazing quality for when they were taken, especially compared to most probes of the time era. Most photos from other probes of this time were plagued with bad lossy compression and low resolution. Maybe some more info on the cameras used would be a great addition to the article.

First panoramic view by Viking 1 from the surface of Mars[edit]

I don't think "First panoramic view by Viking 1 from the surface of Mars" should be the largest image presented on the page, but rather be in the thumbnail gallery section. Altough it was historically significant, it is not otherwise a very remarkable image. For one, the sun angle makes for low constrast, making it hard to see features and texture. We should seek out a better main image. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tablizer (talkcontribs) 04:25:07, August 19, 2007 (UTC).

Tablizer is probably right and there are more spectacular or detailed photos available for the article. On the other hand, if I remember well, this picture has been the subject of a couple of comments (by Carl Sagan? Arthur Clark?) about "not finding the little green men" in it and bringing Mars closer to Earth more than any previous photo: you can see the dust and the rocks and somehow it made you feel, for the first time, that you're there. Compare the resolution to previous images of Mars or Venus and check the previous comments in this page on the quality of the funny cameras (with a cilindrical lens) they used. Perhaps what the picture needs is a better caption or some text on it.--Ciroa 04:35, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


References to Viking biology experiments[edit]

I miss in the article references to Viking biology experiments, perhaps the most interesting part of the mission, at least for laymen like me. I remember clearly reading that the first reports indicated life-like activity and, later, this activity was attributed to effects of materials similar to earth clays. This deserves some explanation, I think.--Ciroa 04:33, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

That's because it is controversial and the contributors know that it'll get scrubbed if they comment. Basically all the experiments returned positive results for life in the Mars soil. However, the head of the project was incredibly biased against the idea of life on Mars so he claimed that the more important finding was the the results stopped after a few hours, and so must have been spurious. This was considered at the time to be ridiculous but never-the-less became the official NASA line. The scientists who created the life detection experiments were furious but powerless. Zubrin describes in his book Mars On Earth how the one experiment that could have turned the tide had been scrapped from the mission for no other reason than that it was most likely to return irrefutable results. There was some speculation at the time that a confirmed result of microbial life on Mars taken from a random soil sample would jeopardize any future manned mission from launching, due to fear of contamination. This too was ridiculous as over 500kg of rocks travel from Mars to Earth every year and undoubtedly contain the same micro-organisms. QuantumG (talk) 23:01, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Was this the first landing of a man made spacecraft on Mars?[edit]

Was this the first landing of a man made spacecraft on Mars? The wording on the matter is somewhat ambiguous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.48.128.21 (talk) 04:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it was the first successful landing of a man made spacecraft on Mars. Others have tried before it and either missied mars, crashed into the surface, or lost contact shortly after landing. See this table for more info: [1] Cody-7 (talk) 04:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
AFAIK Soviet's MARS 3 was the first successful lander. And it was 5 years before Viking 1. Author please fix the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.239.45.4 (talk) 17:05, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Longest space probe?[edit]

As I understand it, Viking 1 operated on the surface of Mars for 2245 Sols. The Spirit Rover would have surpassed that on April 29th, 2010. However, as it is currently in(at best), a hibernation mode, it's unclear whether it did break the record. However, the Opportunity Rover has, according to JPL, now surpassed 2250 sols, (and is communicating regularly)which would mean Opportunity has clearly beaten Viking, with Spirit possibly having done so as well. When and how should this complicated situation be added to the wiki? ArrowQuivershaft (talk) 03:05, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Opportunity has reached 2450 sols as of May 2011

Software upload error?[edit]

The spanish version of this article says that on 1982-11-13 a software update failed due to human error and that as a result the Viking 1 became non-operational. Has anyone hear this before? Alessio.aguirre (talk) 16:27, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

What about this...[edit]

...in the news: life? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:50, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Every year there's a new study agreeing or disagreeing with the Viking results, the article currently mentions that, it's not really major news. The only way there'll be reliable evidence is to go back. Besides, even if it did find organic chemistry that is not evidence of life. Organic "complex carbon" molecules =/= life.
For that matter this article currently does not make that distinction, it implies that organic chemistry = life which is totally misleading. The "Search for life" section needs some attention. ChiZeroOne (talk) 03:06, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I think a new probe to test Mars chemistry is to leave this November. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:12, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
True, though it will likely not be the best of follow-ups. Most of MSL's potential landing sites are in the southern hemisphere far away from the northern polar region where phoenix found perchlorate, but the Vikings were in an area which historically had potentially similar characteristics to it. Where MSL is going could well be quite different. ChiZeroOne (talk) 03:37, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. I'm looking forward to MSL. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:56, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

First color image[edit]

"This first color image has since been lost or misplaced," (comma instead of period). This statement was added by an anonymous user: edited by 58.108.199.225 at 04:14, 3 June 2009.

There is no citation and in fact the first color image has since been added to the article and is easily available from many NASA websites as well as the official NASA archives.

There is some controversy about the sky color of the first color image. When the image was originally received the sky was incorrectly adjusted to appear blue, with a room full of reporters watching. A future image included a color calibration chart mounted on the lander and the first image was then readjusted to show the correct reddish sky color. While this is a somewhat interesting story that might be a nice addition to the Wikipedia article, I could not easily find adequate citations so I did not include it.

The sky color of Mars is a somewhat popular conspiracy theory but the first color image has not been lost or misplaced. That exact statement appears on several Mars Sky Color conspiracy sites and was probably added as "evidence" of a cover up. If the statement is added again, it should include a citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kona Earth (talkcontribs) 18:13, 22 November 2012 (UTC)