Vivid Colors of the Viking Lander 1 Scene
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Vivid Colors of the Viking Lander 1 Scene

Image Not Available
Photograph

Vivid Colors of the Viking Lander 1 Scene

July 24, 1976
Chromogenic development print
Image: 24.2 x 13 cm
Overall: 25.4 x 20.3 cm
Museum accession
2011.0101.0002
Inscriptions verso (applied label, typed): NATIONAL AERONATICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION/ VIKING NEWS CENTER/ PASADENA, CALIFORNIA/ (213) 354-6000/ PHOTO CAPTION/ Viking 1-55/ P-17165 (color) Sol 4/ July 26, 1976/ Viking 1 obtained this color picture of the Martian surface and sky on/ July 24. Camera #1 facing southeast, captured part of the spacecraft's/ gray structure in the foreground. A bright orange cable leads to one/ of the descent rocket engines. Orange-red surface materials cover most/ of the surface, apparently forming a thin veneer over darker bedrock./ A zone of large dark boulders is present in the far-field. The sky/ has a reddish cast, which is probably due to scattering and reflection/ from reddish sediment suspended in the lower atmosphere. This picture/ has been radiometrically calibrated, using information on camera per-/formance acquired before launch. Although the colors are very vivid,/ the fidelity with which the bright orange cable is reproduced suggests/ that the intense colors of the Martian surface are, in fact, real.

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