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Topic - Mars Exploration

Mars Exploration:
From the Vikings to the 21st Century

     If you wish to view a tape of this show; Please contact Sherri Rowe-Lopez at (818) 354-6170.

presented by Dr. John Callas
Mars Exploration Rover Science Manager

Thursday, July 19 The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA
Friday, July 20 The Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m.

Admission is free. Seating is limited.
For more information, call (818) 354-0112.

Before the twin Viking spacecraft landed on Mars in 1976, most people believed that Mars might harbor life beneath blue skies. When the first picture ever returned from the surface of Mars came back to Earth and revealed a rocky landscape beneath a dust-tinged, salmon-pink sky, years of speculation ended and an auspicious era of learning began. Hopes of finding life on Mars dimmed when the Viking mission found a sterile soil with strange chemical properties and discovered that most of the accessible water -- a key ingredient for life -- was locked away in a north polar ice cap or possibly frozen deep in the ground.

The Viking orbiters mapped 97 percent of the surface of Mars. Viking Lander 1, exceeding all expectations, continued to take images and meteorological measurements until 1982. The four Viking spacecraft - the two orbiters and the two landers - were a technological success and a breakthrough in human exploration, but the results of experiments searching for past or present life on Mars were inconclusive. As JPL enters a new, innovative phase of Mars exploration, this lecture will examine how Viking paved the way for our current missions to explore Mars, and how it forever changed our view of Mars and Earth.

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