This shows the red surface of the planet and the lander's soil retrieval scoop extended. Two Viking spacecraft were launched towards Mars in 1975, each carrying a lander spacecraft and an orbiter. Both succesfully landed their probes on Mars to study the Martian environment, soil constituents and to search for simple life forms - none were found. Viking 2 was launched on 9th September 1975 and landed in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars on 3rd September 1976.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society