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On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet, 1958-1978--The NASA Historyby Edward C Ezell
Synopses & Reviews
Although it was only designed for a ninety-day surface mission, the Viking 1 lander ultimately transmitted science messages to Earth for seven years. This authoritative history chronicles the remarkable achievements of the Viking program during its first three decades. Commissioned by NASA, it recounts the events surrounding the first planetary landing on Earth's closest neighbor and the first on-site search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. It also portrays a human drama in which thousands of professionals from government, industry, and academia joined together to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
This history begins with a survey of the qualities that make the surface and atmosphere of Mars prime targets for scientific investigation. A retrospective of NASA's Mariner program follows, detailing the series of robotic interplanetary probes that led to the initiation of the Viking program in 1968. The authors trace the ensuing technological developments, including the first lander vehicles and orbiter. They also profile the cooperation of managerial, technical, and scientific teams during the mission's data-gathering and analysis phases. The final chapters outline the scientific results of the Viking investigations, examine some of the unresolved questions, and consider possible future explorations. Dozens of photos taken by Viking cameras illuminate the text.
NASA's official history chronicles the start of our explorations of our planetary neighbor. It recounts cooperation among government, industry, and academia, and it features dozens of photos from Viking cameras.
Generations of scientists and stargazers have studied the Red Planet and pondered its possibilities. Commissioned by NASA itself, this volume is the authoritative history of the start of the agency's explorations of our closest neighbor. It recounts the often fragile cooperation among people in government, industry, and academia, and is highlighted by dozens of photos taken by Viking cameras.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION TO THE DOVER EDITION
THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE: MARINER SPACECRAFT AND LAUNCH VEHICLES
THE SEARCH FOR MARTIAN LIFE BEGINS: 1959-1965
VOYAGER: PERILS OF ADVANCED PLANNING, 1960-1967
REORGANIZATION AND THE CREATION OF VIKING
VIKING ORBITER AND ITS MARINER INHERITANCE
VIKING LANDER: CREATING THE SCIENCE TEAMS
VIKING LANDER: BUILDING A COMPLEX SPACECRAFT
SAFE HAVENS: SELECTING LANDING SITES FOR VIKING
SITE CERTIFICATION—AND LANDING
LIST OF NASA PHOTOGRAPH NUMBERS
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