Viking to Mars

NASA’s Viking 1 and 2 landers became the first spacecraft to touch down safely on Mars in 1976. From opposite sides of Mars, they photographed and analyzed their environments, finding a surface of iron-rich clay and a frigid atmosphere battered by giant dust storms. Experiments designed to look for signs of life produced inconclusive results, which scientists interpreted as meaning the Martian surface is sterile.


Scientists, too, have speculated about the possibility of life on Mars. During the 1800s, some leading astronomers thought that an

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