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VIKING

MAY

1972

TABLE OF CONTENTS

VIKING

1-9

Martian Life

2-3

Previous Mars Missions

3-4

Viking Launch

Journey Through Space Tracking Injection into Mars Orbit and Lan Landing Orbiter

VIKING INVESTIGATIONS The Search for Life Photosynthetic Analysis Metabolic Analysis Respiration Molecular Analysis Inorganic Chemistry

Ima ingyse

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Lander Camera Entry Science Water Detection Thermal Mapping R'adIio Sclence. Weather Station on Mars Physical and Seismic Characteristics

COMMUNICATIONS

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

12-13

13-14

14

14

16

15

16

16-17

17

VIKING SCIENCE TEAMS

VIKING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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22-27

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VIXIM

The National Aeronautics

lire

and Space

Administration

in

is

1975

to significantly

scheduled

the

advance

If

to launch two spacecraft

existed,

is

to Mars

to orbit

planet and sort-land

of the

on the

planet with emphasis

present,

surface

knowledge

once

on determining

or might develop.

Called Viking,

the two

spacecraft

will travel

some

700 million kilometers

nearly a year's

330 million kilometers

(#40 million miles)

when

the

Journey to arrive

(206

million miles)

through space

planet is

from Earth

on

about

on the

other side

of the

Sun.

Each

3,400-kilogram

(7,500-pound)

spacecraft

will be launched

from the

Eastern Test Range,

Florida,

30-day

aboard a Titan III/Centaur

launch

and

launch period

between mid-August

vehicle

during

aid-September.

a

The

program

will

stat between $750 and $830 million,

with the

launch

vehicles

costing

an additional

$66 million.

Once

in

Mars

orbit the

spacecraft

will separate

into

two parts,

an orbiter and a

lander.

Together

they will

conduct scientific studies of the Martian atmosphere and surface. While the orbiter performs visual (television),

thermal, and water-vapor mapping, the lander will conduct

analyses

or the

Martian

soil and atmosphere.

The

lander's

science

instruments

will collect data

for

transmission

to Earth,

direct or via the orbiter,

including

panoramic,

stereo

color pictures

of its

immediate

surroundings;

4

molecular

and organic

analyses

of

the

soil;

and atmospheric,

meteorological,

will also make measurements to the surface.

magnetic,

and

seismic

characteristics.

as

it

It

of the atmosphere

descends

The

lander capsules

will be heat-sterilized

berore

launch

to comply with international

planetary quarantine

requirements and to prevent false Indications in the life-

agreements the

U.S. has pledged not to land an unsterilized spacecraft on

detection experiments.

Under international

the

planet

until

at least

the year 2018.

Why Viking?

going

There

are

to Mars,

many

scientific

on the

landing

or

lack thereof.

and

philosophical

and

reasons

for

surface,

searching

for life

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2

We are witnessing profound changes in the planet Earth,

due

largely

to interactive

processes

between

evolvinm.life,

including the dominant life form, man, and the evolving

planet.

The Earth's

equilibrium

is

form and rapid changes are

taking

being

altered

place which

are

by

its

poorly

life

or

not at all understood and whose consequences cannot yet be

predicted.

is

It

of crucial importance to study the nature of other

; planets, presumed to have originated at about the same time and by the same general processes. In this context, the presence of life is of iere importance than any other measurement; in fact, finding that Mars is without life could be of equal importance. The study of a planet which has evolved in the absence of life would provide us with a yard- stick with which to determine, for example, how the atmosphere of the Earth has been influenced by the advent of biological processes, Comparative planetology will be of great value in understanding the troubled Earth, and in formulating measures

to protect our own environment.

On the other hand, if life is found on Mars, no matter how primitive or simple, man will have one more tool for

understanding the origin of life and will be that much closer

to understanding his own place and role in the universe.

this time man can only speculate about such profound questions

as his uniqueness in the universe. He can only guess about the beginning of life and the relationship of the origin and evolution of life to the origin and evolution of a planet. More data points are needed.

is the beginning of a long process of study

At

Viking, then,

& and understanding

--

a

key step

in

determining

planet,

where

man

fits,

how he can best make use of his home

and perhaps a

glimpse into his future in the solar system and beyond.

Martian Life

The question of Martian life has been debated for centuries; however, there is no conclusive way to determine its presence except by a direct search on the surface. Viking will be NASA 's first mission to do that.

-more-

Within our present

one of the most

knowledge

likely spots

But

of

the solar

for the formation of

system,

the

Mars

remains

extraterrestrial life.

capabilities

it

has been beyond

of our three previous

fly-by missions and

recent Mariner 9 orbiting

The recent

unresolved.

mission to resolve

this question.

Russian missions have also

left the issue

Is Earth

truly a unique

life-supporting

There

is

planet

in

the

to

i

the contrary.

the

-nse

totality of creation?

growing

evidence

In studying the anras with telescopes over

past several centuries, oan has been able to veroy that

the basic chemical elements of wich Earth is composed are

found

has been proved

solar system is

observed

throughout

In Just the

own

that the ratio of these elements in

consistent with the overall ratio generally

the universe.

last century it

our

throughout

the universe.

In other words,

in

in

a rather

we appear

to be residing

on a minor

planet

particular note

systems

ordinary

solar system in

a galaxy

of no

among the

our galaxy and

billions of billions beyond.

of'other solar

Radio astronomers

space.

have

detected

Recent detection

simple

organic

of complex

compounds

organic

in

compounds

confidence

And we

microorganisms

our

interstellar

in

know from

meteorites that that life could

laboratory

survive

environment

impacted

Earth has

increased

evolve on neighboring

bodies.

tests that certain terrestrial

under Martian conditions.

on Mars

leads

most biologists

like

adaptations

in

the

such as microbes

National Park,

scientists

on Mars, it

there.

will have specially

can

The hostile

to believe

simple bacteria.

of Earth life

near boiling springs

think that,

adapted

that any Martian life would be microscopic,

Because there are many strange

to unusual

conditions,

of Yellowstone

if

life exists

to presenc conditions

Previous Mars

Missions

The Mariner Mars flights have supplied most of the

Martian data which

mission. These data include atmosphere composition,

structure, surface elevations, atmosphere and surface tempera-

turs, topography, figure of the planet, and ephemeris

information.

permits us to plan and design the Viking

atmospheric

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Mariners

have also

supplied much experience

in

conducting

an orbital

orbit,

design

mission,

inserting a spacecraft

large quantities

in

orbiter

the

subsystem

into planetary

and processing

or the Viking with many of

of digital data.

The

based on the Mariner space-

being

nearly

identical.

craft,

The

steps in

Mariner

the

is

flights

bave

of

provided

which

the

had

logical

to

incremental

Viking,

exploration

a

Mars

precede

just as Viking

retrn,

by

necessary prelude

roving vehicles

to eventual

sample

manned

automated

and possible

missions t-oMars.

Viking

Launch

The

precise

launch

tlrjectory

period

was

from Earth to

selected

Mars.

minimum-energy

to make such flights

occur at approximately

to provide a

Opportunities

25-month

intervals.

In

separate

launches

spaced at

least

10 days apart,

from cape

two

Titan/Centaur

each placing

launch vehicles

the

will lift

off

KennmtY,

the Viking spacecraft

Centaur upper stage and

(115-mile)

the

parking

into a 184-kilometer

about

orbit.

After coasting

the

30 minutes,

on

Centaur wiii re-ignite

to send

spacecraft

its journey to Mars.

The Titan.bootWr

and

Gemini

is

a two-stage liquid-fueled

solid-propellant

a

member of

progrep.

The

the

high-energy

r0c1et,

with two additional

onto the

booster,

on

NASA's

manned

oxgqn

and

unmanned

large,

is

rocket$ strapped

is

stage used on

lAquid

Titan family used

a

Centaur

upper

liquid fiyrogen,

Surveyor rflght

to the Moon and

Mariner flights

to Mars.

At

liftoff

the

solid rockets

provide 9.61 million

newtons

(2.16 million pounds)

the

stage

ignites

orbit.

into position

Viking

the

from

on the surface of Mars.

is

first

stage of

after

ignites

on

Then

on its

as the

second stage

spacecraft

deflected

of thrust. When the solids burn out,

the Titan booster ignites, and the second

first

up to

stage shuts

shutdown to

a

30-minute

the

down. The Centaur

inject the spacecraft into

coast a~gnuni

re-ignites

this

maneuver

the Earth

to propel

is

completed

for restart,

Centaur

Once

Mars trajectory,

separates

from

away

the

the Centaur which subsequently

path to prevent its

impact

flight

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-5-

Shortly after separating

the combined

the spacecraft

from

the Centaur,

the

orbiter

orients

a

very

portion

and

of

stabilizes

orbiter-lander

by using

spacecraft

the

SUn and

bright

star in

the

southern

sky,

Canopus,

for celestial

 

reference.

 

Journey Through Space

 
 

The Viking

may have

to

make

several

trajectory

flight

path corrections

during

its

Journey.

These

corrections

will

be based

on

nayigation

information

acquired

from Earth-based

tracking

of

the

spacecraft.

Thus by

firing

its orbit-

insertion engine

several

times

in

a

predetermined

direction

the

spacecraft's

trajectory will be altered

to insure

 

interception

of Mars.

 

Power is

produced

by

solar panels

which

open

up after

injection

into

orbit to span more

than 10 meters (33 feet)

tip to tip.

Batteries

supplement

the solar panels and are

used when

power is

the

panels

demanded.

are shaded

In

turn,

from

the

Sun or when peak charged by

are

the batteries

the

solar

panels.

Small attitude

control jets

on the

edges

of

the

orbiter's

four solia

panels

keep

the

spacecraft

stabilized

and oriented.

The

orbiter

will furnish electric

power

to the

until they separate

rechargeable

at the planet.

which will

batteries

be

The

lander

has

charged

during

a

lander

set of

Mars

sgrface

operstigns

(Mo)

(A$C).

by

two radioisotope

thermoelectric

the Atomic Energy

g9nfraotares

Commission

nuclear source into electricity, making the landers

independent

being provided by

The

RTOg convert heat produced by a

of solar energy.

-Information

all

concerning

in

flight performance

An

onboard

and supplies

is

transmitted

for

to Earth throughout the

controls

trajectory

scientific

controllers

the

spacecraft

flight.

operationa

orbiter computer

commands

corrections

addition

to

controlling

the

orbiter's

in

orbit.

At

the

same

time

ground

of the

mission

via

equipmnt while

will be monitoring all phases

tracking

facilities.

worldwide

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Tracking

The Deep Space

(85-foot)

Network (DSN)

supporting Viking will

stations having

of three

consist of two

26-aeter

networks each with three

antennas

and one network

stat 1 '-m

with 64-meter (210-foot) antennas.

will be located

California

will be completed

planetary

The 64-aeter

stations

The

in

California,

is

in

now in

1973.

tracking

processes

Australia,

and Spain.

at Mars,

by one

station

flight,

operation

During

most

will be

and the

or

other two

the Viking inter- contact with one

the spacecraft

During

in

orbital operations

of

the stations.

there

of

will be continuous

larger DSN stations.

In addition craft, this system

of the spacecraft

the

to tracking the precise

three kinds

path of the

of data:

space-

engineering

telemetry, science, and commands for signals to the space-e

craft to initiate or change programmed operations.

will take longer and longer

Communication

with Viking

as the

reaches Mars sending a message one way will take 20 minutes.

This means a roundtrip minimum of 40 minutes will pass before a command from Earth can be received by the spacecraft in response to its initial transmission. For this reason,

spacecraft gets

farther away from Earth.

When

it

automation is essential.

such as the soft landing, will be performed completely automatically by an onboard preprogrammed computer.

Operations

that cannot be interrupted,

Injection into Mars Orbit and Landing

As the spacecraft nears the planet (each spacecraft

arrives at a different time), it is maneuvered into the proper

attitude for being

for nearly an hour to

in a highly elliptical orbit of 1,500 kilometer (930 miles) by 33,000 kilometers (20,500 miles) which has a period of

approximately 24 hours to match Mars' period of rotation

The spacecraft will be tracked for at least 10 days after achieving orbit to get detailed information necessary to achieve a precise landing as well as check out preselected

landing sites. Mission controllers will have a total of 50

days, if necessary,

placed in

place

orbit.

The engine will

be

fired

the combined

orbiter and lander

to further study the planet to confirm

optimum landing

sites.

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ASA S171-2525

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The lander is prepared for separation after confirmation

or

as well as Viking observations. An ideal candidate landing

area

a

landing

site based

on observational data from Mariner 9

would be relatively low, wars, wet, safe, and interesting.

Landing

i

The Viking lander instruments, weighing about 67 kilograms

(14 7 pounds), are divided into two areas of investigations,

those

used during

the

atmospheric

entry phase

prior

to

landing

and those used on the Martian surface. Entry data will provide

infore on the upp r ataosphere on concentratioko6tonandm composition and on the pressure, temperature, and density of the lower atmosphere.

When a landing area is determined, the lander's power is turned on, and the lander within its aeroshell separates from

the orbiter. The aeroshell shields the lander against the intense heat generated as It decelerates during the high speed entry through the thin atmosphere.

During descent

and landing,

the lander maintains

which serves

coeaunication

station between the lander and Earth.

with the orbiter,

as a relay

A parachute is deployed

to further decelerate

the

lander

at about 6,000 mters (20,000 feet) above the surface.

Shortly thereafter,

chute is Jettisoned about 1.6 kilometers (' mile) above the

the aeroshell

is

jettisoned.

The

para-

surface, and the terminal propulsion system begins firing

its three engines. This is a rocket

that used by the

subsystem

Su. veyor

lunar landers.

similar to

The

engines,

and

a sort

landing

surface.

firing

5

to

10 minutes,

the

shut down just as

slow the

lander

for

foot pads touch the

V

As soon as the lander is on the surface all its systems not necessary for science operations are shut down to conserve power. Its computer immediately determines the lander's attitude on the surface to provide information necessary for aligning the S-band transmitting/receiving antenna to Earth.

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Scientific

data

and monitoring

immediately

relayed to Earth via

the

information

orbiter.

are

At the

same

time,

the

two 35-watt

nuclear-fueled

generators

are

recharging

the

lander's

batteries

so operations

can be

4

continued for at least 90 days.

The landed instruments consist of a gas chromatograph/

for detecting organic molecular building the soil; a biology instrument capable of

mass spectrometer

blocks

or

life

in

performing three dirrerent life detection experiments;

meteorology

sensors;

a

seismometer;

an X-ray

for inorganic

still

chemical analysis

two

which in

under review;

raceimile

surface

properties.

All

this

three

fluorescence

or surface

spectrometer

material,

and magnete, plus a supporting device to collect soil samples

and measure

will help answer important questions which can only be resolved by placing instruments on the Martian surface.

egraeps;

instrumentation

:

The cameras will give the 66 principal scientists

participating in Viking a vastly improved view, in both color and stereo, of the Martian topography and surface structure. Of even greater interest to biologists interested in the

evolution of life will, be the results

obtained

from the

organic

three life-detection experiments.

and inorganic

analyses

of the Martian

soil,

and the

Lander instruments will also determine the temporal variations of atmospheric temperature and pressure, and wind velocity and direction; seismological characteristics of the planet; the atmospheric composition and its variation; and the magnetic and physical nature of the surface.

Orbiter

While experiments

are proceeding

on

the

surface,

the

Viking orbiters will be passing overhead, observing the

landing site

so

that

local measurements

may be

correlated

with overall

surface

made

by

effects.

the

landers

Typical

conditions to be searched for by the orbiters include the

buildup

of dust

store#,

variations

in temperature and

humidity, and the passage of the seasonal wave of darkening.

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9

The Viking orbiters each carry about 65 kilograms (14

of two high-resolution

spectrometer

and an

will be employed to survey

in

pounds) of instruments consisting

infrared

radiometer.

landing

order to provide data

water concentration,

and their movement, the topography and color of the terrain, and other information to describe the broader aspects of the landing site and its relationship to the overall planet

characteristics. These data will then be integrated with the lander data to make possible a better understanding or what is happening on the surface.

television camerez, an infrared

These

instruments

sites both before and after lander deployment

on surface

the presence

temperature,

atmospheric

of clouds and dust storms

VIKING INVESTIGATIONS

The Search for Life

Scientists believe that, if life exists on Mars, most probably it is in the form of microorganisms. To search for evidence of their existence in the surface samples, three different Investigations will be performed. The biology

instrument will examine

will also be analyzed by the molecular analysis instrument

three different

soil

samples, which

for organic content.

Photosynthetic of foring organic

combining basic compounds

salUt8, using the Sun as

Analysis - Photosynthesis is the process compounds, suih as carbohydrates, by

like carbon

dioxide,

water,

and

a source of energy.

It

is

a basic

plant

life

on Earth

soil

sample

is

consumes

carbon

inoculated

labeled

with

fife-sustaining

during

process;

dioxide

In

photosynthesis.

the Viking experiment a

dioxide

gas

that has been

The

soil

and gas are

is

6000

flushed

any of

the

with

carbon

tracer.

simulated Martian sunlight

remaining gas is heated to

liberate

C (about

a radioactive

in

Later,

all

the

sample

into

allowed

for a period of

then

to incubate

time-

will

incorporated

out of the

11000

F).

chamber and

The

heating

labeled

carbon dioxide

organic molecules in a photosynthesis process, and the

liberated gas

labeled gas

taken place, which would be strong evidence of the presence of

living plant-like organisms.

can then be measured. A substantial quantity of

would indicate that a photosynthetic process had

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Ana

is

-atabolicIt is possible

that the organisms

containing

A sharp rise

suetarnlnte y obtaining nourishment rather than through photosynthesis.

vory similar to the planned, which will

from organic materials

Therefore, an analylsis

has been

hotouynthesie

organic

reaction analysis

compounds

feed"

sol seamample--sugar, as an

and they can consume

r dioactirly labeld earbon to

exa plo.

If organis

the

radioactive

in

evidence that

food oftered

v

irlnthe sample,

to them, they

that

will discard--as waste--

can be measured.

carbon gases

the production

or such metabolic

gases would be strong

life is present.

ResDiration

As metabolism

in

which is

takes

a state

place.

the composition

change.

-

of the gaseous environment is

For this analysis,

conversion analysis already a growth medium.

of continuous

closely related

described,

to the metabolic

Is

wet with

the sample

A sample of the

headspace

Martian atmosphere

the

is

pumped

into

the

chamber

above

sample and monitored.

Changes

in the composition of the gases

the existence of lire as a

will again be evidence of

will be prepared

to

result of cellular respiration.

In the event of positive results from one or more of

these experiments,

further verify the evidence.

sterilized to ensure that all living

before analysis is made. Then, if

scientists

evidence was due to the

a control sample

relatively

A co-on sample is first heat

organisms are destroyed the result is changed,

certain that the original

c&n be

existence or living organisms.

Molecular Analysis

This investigation

scientific

of

to

will perform a chemical analysis of

The chemistry is important

the planet,

but

know is organic

of understanding

All

life

we

fats,

proteins).

is

important

in

the Martian atmosphere and soil.

in

particularly

all

aspects

so for biology.

like sugars,

(made

things

composition

The

understanding

helping

of the atmosphere

chemistry

the overa'l

ot the planet And in

trace back the history

of its formation.

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Both the

atmospheric

and

soil analysis consist or

detecting

device

the

Martian

is

chemical

and identifying specific olecules by using a

sipectroueteraas

called a gas chromatograph-v*s

analysis

with

the

the

method

spectrometer. For

is simply to "sniff" the

atmospheric

atmosphere

The detect

sensitive

to one part per 10 million,

molecular weight

is

less

and will detect any

than two hundred.

whose

Seasonal variation in

influence or be evidence

unusual

atmospheric composition may strongly

of biological activity as might

isotope ratios

or compounds in unstable equilibrium

with the environment.

The soil analysis

Is more complex.

The instrument

contains

from the soil processor.

(about 9000 7)

vaporized and analyzed.

system,

several tiny ovens; each can

The oVrs

During heating the

If

receive a soil sample

are heated to 5000 C

organic compounds are

Mors has not evolved a living

support

the organic analysis might help to explain and to

or pre-biological

organic

material would

in

suggest

provide knowlsfge

A high yield of organic

active biology result or,

biology finding,

chemical evolution.

a positive

the absence of a positive active

of organisms

the biology

in the absence

biology could be indicative

the possible presence

conditions in

which did not respond to the

instrument; a high yield of organic material

result for active

of earlier biological activity.

of a positive

Inormanic Chemnotry

This investigation

which is still under review would

of the Martian soil. The

perform an elemental analysis

elemental

the planot

differentiation that

inorganic

interest

planetologists.

to

composition would identify rm ktxP9! existing on

and is

important

has

in

determining

on

the

of

of

as toLtQchabslts and

the

degree

The

occurred

planot.

composition

the

and character of the surface

is

biologists as well

The analysis

The

fluorosconce,

detect

would be performed by an X-ray

instrucont consists

fluorescence

counters

induced

with

spectrometer.

X-ray sources

X-ray

which

fluorescence

aullyois

a sensitivity

of two radioisotope

inducing

which bombard

and

the surface material

and two thin-window

proportional

of

the

differentiate

the spectrum

is

The instrument

minor,

capable of quantative

and some

trace elements

for most major,

range of 0.02

percent to 2.0 percont depending

upon the

element.

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The

a

sample

part

to be

delivered

sampler and

and be

and

of the

liviizg

organisms.

analyzed

to

same

the

would be

instrument

obtained

by

by

soil

the

processor

content

surface

the

sample

examined

for organic

Imaging

System

Viking

will extend

our knowledge

of Mars

by examining

unique

Viking

pictures

TV line

permitting

The

sites at a higher resolution

visual imaging

at a resolution

than previously

kilometers

twice

obtained.

system on the

of about

of

orbiter will obtain

(165 feet) per

50 meters

1,500

about

at an orbiter altitude

one

is

to distinguish

composed

(930 miles)

the

size

TV tube,

of

and

objects

football field.

The orbiter system

Each camera

appropriate electronics.

consists of two identical cameras.

of a telpocope, filterb,

Prior to initiation of the landing

After landing,

will be available

sequence, the orbiter

cameras will aid in certification of

sites or, if necessary,

alternatives.

otzervations

interpretation

understanding

the preselected landing

suitable

for a more detailed

character of the

Valuable data such as clouds,

in the identification of

"ground

the lander

pictures

and chemical

truth"

to verify and extend the

of orbiter camera

of the physical

surface in areas other than the landing sites.

is

dust storms,

also expected relative to variable features

and

seasonal albedo changes.

Picture

1 is

taken by camera 1 and stored

then taken by

in the tape

while

prepared

is

record*es.

it is being put in

for taking picture 3 by erasing

TV tube.

pictures are acquired.

Picture 2 is

the

camera 2 and,

1

camera