Viking 1 Lands on Mars in 1976

Viking 1 Lands on Mars in 1976

#OnThisDayInHistory Viking 1 was the first US spacecraft to land on Mars. It was also the first spacecraft ever to remain functional on the surface of the planet and to accomplish its mission. It kept transmitting information back to Earth for four years until August 7, 1980, although initially the mission was intended to last for only 90 days. This was a huge scientific breakthrough. Among the information it collected were high resolution photos of the surface of Mars and analyses of samples of the planet’s soil.

The amount of government funding for research programs of all kinds, often encounters debate. The key is to ensure both that tax dollars are spent responsibly and there is enough funding for important scientific programs. When such programs are free of political bias and partisan agenda they can be a huge success and worth the taxpayers’ money. What do you think?

Sources and Further Reading

  • https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/viking-1-lands-on-mars
  • https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/viking-1/
  • https://www.space.com/18234-viking-1.html

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