Viking 30th Anniversary Conference and Webcast

Thirty Years ... and Mars Still Beckons
Viking 30th Anniversary Conference and Webcast

Thirty years ago, NASA's Viking landers made history by descending from
orbit to the surface of the Red Planet. They were the first probes from
Earth to land intact on Mars -- and the first American spacecraft to
land on another planetary body since Apollo.

Viking 1 and its sister ship Viking 2 revealed an alien world comprised
of sterile soil and eerie salmon-colored skies. They answered the
probing question -- No life on Mars... at least not in the two areas
where the spacecraft landed.

Working steadily for years beyond their planned life expectancy, the
landers accumulated 4,500 up-close images of the Martian surface. Their
partner spacecraft high above -- the Viking orbiters -- snapped over
50,000 images, mapping 97 percent of the Martian globe. Successful in
many ways, Viking is best remembered for the first space probes to
conduct on-the-spot biological tests for life on another planet.

Viking blazed the trail for future Mars missions. Mars Pathfinder, the
Sojourner rover, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey continued to
prepare the way. The darlings of Mars exploration, the twin rovers,
Spirit and Opportunity, captured the attention of young and old with
their antics. The most recent mission, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter,
launched in August 2005, arrived at the Red planet in March making it
the fourth active satellite currently focused on Mars.

NASA's march across the sparse yet alluring planet continues. More
inquisitive craft are on the drawing boards. Perhaps one will solve the
mystery of what happened to the planet's water. Perhaps one will
the ultimate scientific explorer: humans.

And when humans finally arrive on Mars, they'll find a pair of dusty
pioneers already there -- the Viking landers that blazed the trail for
all to follow.


Viking 30th Anniversary Conference

Mars: Past, Present and Future

Thursday, June 22, 2006
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

H.J.E. Reid Conference Center
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, Va.


9:00 a.m. Welcome by Honorary Co-Chairs Lesa Roe, Director, NASA
Langley Research Center
John Casani, Jet Propulsion
9:20 The Viking Mission Tom Young, Chair, Viking
9:30 The Engineering of Viking Israel Taback, Viking Project
10:10 Viking Site Selection and
Certification Norm Crabill, Viking Project
10:50 The Scientific and
Engineering Legacy of Viking Joel Levine,Science
NASA Langley Research Center
11:30 Lessons Learned From Viking Noel Hinners, Former NASA
Administrator for Space Science
12:10 p.m. Lunch
1:10 Mars Today Gentry Lee, Chair, Viking
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
1:20 Exploration by Landers and
Rovers Ray Arvidson, Viking Project,
University in St. Louis
2:00 Exploration by Orbiters Ron Greeley, Viking Project,
State University
2:40 The Future of Mars
Exploration Douglas McCuistion, Chair
NASA Mars Exploration Program
2:50 Robotic Exploration Missions Michael Meyer, Lead Scientist,
Mars Exploration Program
3:30 Mars Entry, Descent and
Landing: Viking to Humans Rob Manning, Jet Propulsion
4:10 Human Exploration of Mars Douglas Cooke, Deputy Associate
NASA Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate
5:00 Conference Adjourned


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