Read the original story of Mercury 4: NASA’s second suborbital mission was a success until after splashdown, when the hatch blew unexpectedly, forcing pilot Gus Grissom to egress into the water as the capsule began to sink.
The transcripts! Enjoy.
While today may belong to the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, it’s important not to forget another important anniversary for NASA - the landing of the Viking 1 spacecraft on Mars!
On July 20th, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia, a flat lowland region in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Immediately following touchdown, the lander made history by taking and transmitting the first complete photograph taken from the surface of Mars. The image (http://goo.gl/6C5L6m) was of the Viking 1 lander’s foot as an indication of how far it had sunk into the Martian surface. Between itself and its companion, Viking 2, this historic photograph was just the first of more than 50,000 images taken from the Martian surface, as well as from orbit, and transmitted back to Earth.
What makes Viking 1 especially worth noting is that it was not only the first attempt by the United States at landing on Mars, but it was also the first spacecraft to successfully do so and perform its mission. While the Soviet Mars 3 mission was the first to achieve a soft landing of a spacecraft on Mars it stopped transmitting data 15 seconds after landing. During those few seconds of transmission, it sent the first partial photograph taken from the surface of Mars although nothing was identifiable in it.
During its operation on the Martian surface, Viking 1 became the record holder for longest Mars surface mission at 2307 days, until Mars Rover Opportunity took the record in 2010.
To read more about Viking 1:
"For the first time in the history of mankind, there is an EXPLORER ON THE MOON!"
Need a great way to end your weekend? How about watching a rebroadcast of the live television coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which occurred 45 years ago tonight?
Tune in at NASA.gov/multimedia/nasatv
Oh yes, it’s great!
eagle: Earthrise, photographed from Apollo 11, July 1969.
23 Hasselblad photographs taken from lunar orbit, sometime 19th-22nd July.
Image credit: NASA/JSC, c/o LPI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.
Round and round they go…