SENATE RESOLUTION 548--CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION'S VIKING MISSION LANDING ON THE SURFACE OF MARS; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 114
(Senate - July 14, 2016)

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[Pages S5176-S5177]
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SENATE RESOLUTION 548--CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL 
 AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION'S VIKING MISSION LANDING ON THE 
                            SURFACE OF MARS

  Mr. NELSON (for himself, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Thune, Mr. Peters, and Mr. 
Cruz) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and 
agreed to:

                              S. Res. 548

       Whereas Viking 1 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 
     August 20, 1975;
       Whereas Viking 1 spent nearly a year in space before it 
     landed on the surface of Mars on July 20, 1976, on the 
     western slope of the Chryse Planitia at 22.3 degrees north 
     latitude and 48.0 degrees longitude;
       Whereas the Viking 1 Lander was the first American 
     spacecraft to land on Mars and the first spacecraft of any 
     nation to successfully land on Mars and perform its mission;
       Whereas the United States remains to this day the only 
     nation to successfully land on the surface of Mars and 
     transmit images back to Earth;
       Whereas the Viking Mission produced over 4,500 photographs 
     of the surface of Mars, including the first color images of 
     the surface of Mars;

[[Page S5177]]

       Whereas the Viking Mission produced the first scientific 
     data from the surface of Mars;
       Whereas the Viking orbiters mapped 97 percent of the 
     Martian surface;
       Wheread the Viking 1 Lander continued its mission for 2,307 
     days;
       Whereas the Viking Mission was NASA's first comprehensive 
     mission to seek evidence that Mars could have the potential 
     to support life, and it discovered that Mars has an 
     environment modified by the interaction with water and 
     complex surface chemistry;
       Whereas the Viking Mission revolutionized our scientific 
     understanding of the Red Planet, led to future exploration of 
     Mars and the Solar System, and was one of the first stepping 
     stones for the human exploration of Mars: Now, therefore, be 
     it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) commends the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration and the academic and industry contributors to 
     the Viking Mission for leading the way in the exploration of 
     Mars;
       (2) recognizes the importance of the Viking Mission to the 
     long-term exploration of the solar system by the National 
     Aeronautics and Space Administration and to the search for 
     life beyond Earth;
       (3) encourages the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration to continue on the path to landing American 
     astronauts on the surface of Mars; and
       (4) encourages the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration and the American scientific community to 
     continue to promote space exploration and scientific 
     discovery across the solar system.

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