TODAY IN HISTORY – On June 19, 1976, the Viking 1 space probe…

TODAY IN HISTORY – On June 19, 1976, the Viking 1 space probe arrived in Mars orbit. It was the first of two craft sent to the Red Planet as part of the Viking program. A month later, the Viking 1 lander separated and landed on the Martian surface on July 20, 1976. Just a day later the first color image (above) of the surface was taken. Operations of the orbiter continued until August 17, 1980, after it made 1485 orbits around planet. The bottom image is a “global mosaic” of Mars made from 102 photos taken by Viking 1 on orbit 1,334 on February 22, 1980.

(NASA: 1, 2, 3)

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