Two Viking spacecraft wil1 be launched to Mars from Cape Canaveral this month in the United States' first attempt to land on another planet. The Viking Project is managed by the NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.

Viking launch activities can be monitored at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, per the following schedule:

The West Coast Viking News Center will open at l0 a.m. Saturday, August 9, in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena. An audio line from Cape Canaveral will carry the pre-launch Viking science briefing, beginning at l0:30 a.m.

The JPL news center wil1 re-open at 1 p.m. Monday, August 11. Launch of the first of two Viking spacecraft to Mars is scheduled for 1:59 p.m. Countdown commentary from the launch site will begin at l:20 p.m. One hour of color video of the launch operations also will begin at 1:20 p.m. Post-launch briefihg from the Cape will begin at 3:30 p.m. (audio only). Mission operations following launch will originate in the Viking control center at JPL and commentary wi11 be available in the news center until about 7 p.m.

The second Viking launch is scheduled for August 21. Details will be available August 18.

For further information, p1ease call the JPL Public Information Office, telephone 354-50ll.

News Media Contact