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Fiirst color picture taken by Viking 2

The Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project

The Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project

Credit NASA Viking News Center Caption: Fiirst color picture taken by Viking 2 on the Martian surface shows a rocky reddish surface much like that seen by the VIking 1 more than 4000 iles away. The planned location for the collection of soil for on board analysis is seen in the lower part of the photo. The Landers camera #2 is looking approximately to the northeast. The right edge of the picture is due east of the spacecraft. The sun is behind the camera in the Martian afternoon. As at Chryse Planitia where Viking 1 landed in July, the sky over Utopia is pink. Colors of the rocks and soil are also almost identical at the two landing sites. Because the spacecraft is tilted about 8 degrees to the west, the horizon appears tilted. In fact, it is nearly level. The contraversy about the color of the surface first occurred after the first color image from Viking Lander 1 was taken. These notes come from extensive interviews with Vikings at JPL when this took place including with the individuals responsible for changing the monitors and those responsible for making the decision. Initially, and in haste to provide the team and public with another exciting "first", the first image was printed and projected onto monitors at JPL that were not properly calibrated to match the color calibration charts on the Landers themselves. When this was discovered, the team was instructed to the do prpoer calibration and reprint and make available the corrected version of the image. According to interviews, it was not immediately noted because the individuals responsible for the monitors and printing processes were technicians performing a routine rather than trained to critique or analyse results. When those indiviuals were presented with the results, the decision to correct them was imminent. More details about this event as well as papers about the contraversey and analysis of the colors of Mars will be presented in greater detail from a variety of perspectives. Perspectives will be presented neutrally with all known facts and sources, so that viewers can draw their own conculsions.

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  • Title: Fiirst color picture taken by Viking 2
  • Publisher: The Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project (VMMEPP)

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