Mars

The precision of the first flight path correction for the Viking 1 spacecraft on August 27 has eliminated the need for any further corrections until the spacecraft is close to Mars, the Viking Project office announced today.

The August midcourse maneuver was designed to correct the f1ight path by 2OO,OOO miles and change the time of arrival at Mars by 3l hours.

The resulting flight path was less than 2OO miles off the target and one minute off the desired arrival time.

Viking 1 will arrive at Mars on June 19, 1976, after traveling more than 4OO million miles, and drift slightly off course due to the effects of solar radiation pressure and venting of gases from the spacecraft.

A midcourse maneuver to be conducted about one month before arrival at Mars will make the final adjustments to the flight path.

Viking 1 was launched August 2O and today is 3,92O,OOO miles from Earth and in excellent operating condition.


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