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Ivelisse Gilman
(757) 864-5036

RELEASE NO. 01-080

For Release:   July 18, 2001

Local Media invited to particpate
VIKING Mission to Mars …The First Encounter

Viking 1 on the surface of MarsTwenty-five years ago, on July 20, 1976, Viking soft-landed on the surface of Mars, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to land successfully on the surface of another planet.

With a second lander later joining the first on the Martian surface and with two orbiters circling the planet, the Viking project rewrote the textbook on Mars. The Viking spacecraft provided a catalog of more than half a million images from the Martian surface as well as from orbit. The Viking data remains a valuable scientific resource for the study of Mars; its legacy is guiding future planetary exploration.

Local media are invited to a panel briefing on Viking and future Mars exploration Friday, July 20, 2001.

1:30 Panel briefing in Reid Conference Center

Panel members to include:
  • Tom Young, Viking Mission Director
    "Lessons Learned from Viking/Viking Mission Operations"
  •  Gentry Lee, Viking Director of Science and Mission Planning
    "Viking Science"
  • Jim Garvin, Lead Scientist, Mars Exploration Project , NASA Headquarters
    "Future Mars Exploration"
  • Mary Kae Lockwood, Planetary Team Lead, Vehicle Analysis Branch, NASA Langley
    "Langley’s Role in Mars Exploration"

Briefing to be aired on NASA TV.

Reporters will be met at the gate and provided with badges by a representative of the Office of Public Affairs.

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