A quarter of a century after successfully landing on Mars with twin spacecraft, NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory will treat the world to a trip down memory lane and a sneak-peek into the
future with a pair of free lectures. The first lecture will also be broadcast over the Internet.
Both lectures are open to the public and will start at 7 p.m. The first will be held at JPL on
Thursday, July 19, and the other at Pasadena City College on Friday, July 20.
Viking 1 and Viking 2, each comprised of an orbiter and a lander, unveiled a wealth of
information about the red planet. While the orbiters mapped 97 percent of the surface, both landers
carried out biology experiments designed to look for possible signs of life. The results gave scientists
direct measurements of enigmatic chemical activity. However, they showed no clear evidence for the
presence of living microorganisms in the soil near the landing sites.
"The orbital and lander data sets collected by Viking serve as the foundation upon which the
next era of Mars Exploration is based," said John Callas, science manager of the Mars Exploration
Rover Project and the speaker for both lectures. "The Viking legacy has enabled NASA to engage in a
very ambitious campaign of exploration."
The lectures will discuss the Viking legacy, highlight recent discoveries by Mars Pathfinder
and Mars Global Surveyor, and describe plans for future exploration. Launched in April, the 2001
Mars Odyssey will enter Mars' orbit in October. Two rovers equipped with sophisticated instruments
will launch in 2003. The rovers will land in different regions of the red planet.
Lecture seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The lecture at JPL will be held in the von
Karman Auditorium, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210
(Foothill) Freeway. For directions to JPL, see
Information on the webcast is at
On Friday, the lecture will be held in Pasadena City College's Forum at 1570 E. Colorado
Blvd. For more information, call (818) 354-0112.
Find information on the von Karman lecture series at
or call JPL's Public Services Office at (818) 354-0112.
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.