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Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.

Exploratour - Mars Exploration

A classic image of Mars from the Viking lander.
Click on image for full size
NASA/JPL

Viking Missions

The Viking missions to Mars were part of a series of U.S. efforts to explore and better understand the red planet. Each spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and lander. The landers were sterilized before launch to prevent contamination of Mars with organisms from Earth. Their objectives were to obtain highly detailed pictures of the Martian surface, learn about its composition, and search for life. Viking 1 was launched on Aug. 20, 1975, followed later that year on Sep. 9 by Viking 2.

The landers confirmed the Mariner missions' bleak findings about the "lunar-esc" Martian landscape, and performed soil studies similar to those performed by Mars Pathfinder (MPF). The soils examined by the Viking missions were found to be similar, but unlike those explored by MPF!

Among other things, measurements from the Viking orbiters helped establish the enormous size of Olympus Mons, which was first imaged by Mariner 9. Viking made more complete measurements of the shape of Mars, measurements which help scientists understand the interior of the planet and the existence of the bulge called Tharsis Ridge.

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Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF