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NASA Marks 40 Years of Viking 1 Mars Landing

Forty years ago, NASA landed a spacecraft on the surface of Mars, giving us our first close-up view of the so-called Red Planet. And, in what seems to be standard protocol for NASA missions, the 90-day operation stretched into a six-year mission, paving the way for later Mars rovers like Opportunity and Curiosity. The Viking 1 spacecraft touched down on the Martian surface on July 20, 1976, seven years after Apollo 11 astronauts stepped out onto the moon. The landing was originally...

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