Viking Lander 1 (Thomas Mutch Memorial Station)
Viking Lander 1 (Thomas Mutch Memorial Station)
PSP_001521_2025  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
Viking Lander 1 (VL1) touched down in western Chryse Planitia on 20 July 1976.

The lander, which has a diameter of about 3 meters, has been precisely located in the HiRISE orbital image, and likely locations have been found for the heat shield, backshell, and parachute attached to the backshell.

The lander location has been confirmed by overlaying the lander-derived topographic contours on the HiRISE image, which provides an excellent match. VL1 was one element of an ambitious mission to study Mars, with a 4-spacecraft flotilla consisting of two orbiters and two landers.

Four cutouts from this image are visible. The first is an overview showing the relative locations of the lander and candidate backshell and heat shield, and the others (backshell and parachute, lander, heatshield) are enlargements of each of these components. Large boulders, dunes, and other features visible in Lander images can be located in the HiRISE image.

A prime motivation for early viewing of these Viking sites is to calibrate what we see from space with the data previously acquired by the landers. In particular, determining what sizes of rocks can be seen from MRO aids the interpretation of data now being taken to characterize sites for future landers, such as the Mars Scout Phoenix mission to be launched in 2007.

Written by: Alfred McEwen and Ginny Gulick  (4 December 2006)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_001719_2025.
Acquisition date
22 November 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
284.6 km (176.9 miles)

Original image scale range
30.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~91 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
48°, with the Sun about 42° above the horizon

Solar longitude
139.4°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  8.3°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (1679MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (854MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (826MB)
non-map           (781MB)

IRB color
map projected  (355MB)
non-map           (575MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (476MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (491MB)

RGB color
non map           (556MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DTM details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.