On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet. 1958-1978



[481] This essay is designed to serve as a guide to the sources used in preparing this history, rather than as an inclusive catalog. The source notes are the main guide to the materials used, but some discussion about research techniques and the items cited in the source notes will enhance the reader's understanding of how the history was prepared. We also hope this note will be useful to subsequent researchers. Much of this hook was written very close to time to the events described, and the subject deserves further study.
From the standpoint of sources, the book can be divided into two parts-chapters 1 through 4 and chapters 5 through the Epilogue. In the former, we relied heavily on traditional sources familiar to the historical researcher: books, periodicals, newspapers, and occasional documents from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Space Science Board (SSB) of the National Academy of Sciences, and related organizations, In the second part of the book we have used, for the most part, internal NASA documentation: memorandums, letters, telexes, reports, weekly activity reports, minutes of meetings. This NASA paperwork represented the collective product of the Viking Program Office at NASA Headquarters, the Viking Project Office at the Langley Research Center (LaRC), the Viking Orbiter Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the industrial contractors, Similar documents for the Mariner and Voyager projects were also used, Specific comments for each of the two parts follow.
Scientific interest in the Red Planet, always very keen, increased with the coming of the space age. The literature on Mars is ever growing. Researchers interested in the literature that has evolved since 1958 should consult the following bibliographic aids:
NASA RECON (a computerized system for access to aerospace literature).
RECON permits a quick review of the technical periodicals and report literature related to NASA engineering and science projects. The NASA publication STAR (Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports) and the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics' International. Aerospace Abstracts duplicate in a printed version much of the bibliographical information contained in RECON.
[482] Icarus, international journal of solar system studies, 1962-present.
Icarus is the single most important journal for scientific studies related to Mars. Many of the issues discussed its the planning for NASA flights to Mars were first debated it1 the pages of this journal founded by Carl Sagan. Over the years since 1962, most of the major findings of Martian research were reported in Icarus, including the results of Soviet investigations.
Scientific and Technical Information Division.
Extraterrestrial Life. A Bibliography, 1952-1964. N.ASA SP-7015. Washington, September 1964. This annotated bibliography contains 183 citations.
Shneour, Elie A., and Ottesen, Eric A., comps.
Extraterrestrial Life: Art Anthology and Bibliography. NAS publication 1296A. Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1966. This collection of readings and bibliographical entries was prepared to accompany the following publication.
Pittendrigh, Colin S.; Vishniac, Wolf: and Pearman, J. P. T., eds.
Biology and the Exploration of Mars: Report of a Study Held under the Auspices of the, Space Science Board, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, 1964-1965. NAS publication 1296.National Academy of Sciences, 1966. Part 3, the bibliography (Extraterrestrial Life Anthology and Bibliography), contains more than 2000 selected references to published literature through mid-1964, with an addendum of papers published through the latter part of 1965.
Magnolia, L. R.; Gogin, S. A.; and Turley, J. A.
Exobiology: A Bibliography. Research biography 52. TRW STL Technical Library: Redondo Beach, Calif., October 1964. The report contains 400 annotated citations with indexes to authors, subjects, serials, and Defense Technical Information Center (AD) and NASA (N) accession numbers. It can be retrieved on the NASA/RECON system as document N 65-19834.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Mariner Mars 1964 Bibliography. Project Document 67, Rev. 1. Pasadena, 7 November 1966. Intended primarily for internal use at JPL, the bibliography covers internal reports and other documentation for the period 1962-1966.
______ .
Jet Bibliography of Voyager Spacecraft Related Documents. Pasadena, 8 February 1967. This bibliography lists NASA, JPL, and contractor documents for 1964 and 1967.
Magnolia, L. R. and Gogin, S. A.
Manned Mars Missions: A Bibliography. Research Bibliography 53. TRW STL Technical Laboratories: Redondo Beach, Calif., April 1965. The bibliography contains 348 annotated references to manned Mars flyby and stopover missions, unmanned preparatory missions, and Earth-based studies of bars for the years 1955 to January 1965. Supplemental data on manned Mars missions can be found in the NASA RECON system.
Magnolia, L.R.
The Planet Mars: A Selected Bibliography. TRW Systems Group Special Literature Survey 61, 20 April 1973.
General publications that were useful in the preparation of chapters 1 through 4 include:
[483] Berkner, Lloyd V., and Odishaw, Hugh, eds.
Science in Space. New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill, 1961. The first overview the field of space science, this book is an essential starting point for students of American scientific activities in space.
Blum, Harold F.
Time's Arrow and Evolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951.
Glasstone, Samuel.
The Book of Mars. NASA SP-179. Washington, 1968.
Hall, R. Cargill.
Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger. NASA SP-4210. Washington, 1977.
________ .
Project Ranger: A Chronology. JPL/HR-2- Pasadena: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1971.
Hoyt, William Graves.
Lowell and Mars. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1976.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Exploration of the Moon, the Planets, and Interplanetary Space, ed. Albert R. Hibbs. JPL report 30-1. Pasadena: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1959.
Young, Richard S.; Painter, Robert B.; and Johnson, Richard D.
An Analysis of the Extraterrestrial Life Detection Problem. NASA SP-75. Washington, 1965.
Ley, Wily, and Bonestell, Chesley.
The Conquest of space. New York: Viking Press, 1949.
_____ , and von Braun, Wernher.
The Exploration of Mars. New York: Viking Press, 1956.
Logsdon, John M.
The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest. Cambridge, Mass., and London; MIT Press, 1970.
National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council.
A Review of Space Research: The Report of the Summer Study Conducted under the Auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, June 17-August 10, 1962. NAS-NRC publication 1079. Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1962.
Newell, Homer E.
Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Sears of Space Science. NASA SP-4211. Washington, 1980.
Phillips, Charles R.
The Planetary Quarantine Program: Origins arid Achievements. NASA SP-4902. Washington, 1974.
Rosholt, Robert L.
An Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963. NASA SP-4101. Washington 1966.
von Braun, Wernher.
The Mars Project. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1953.
The following document collections for chapters 1 through 3 are held by the National Archives and Records Service:
Federal Records Center. Suitland, Md. (Washington, DC 20409).
[484] NASA, Office of the Administrator. Secretariat.
- Meetings. NASA participation (National Academy of Sciences/SSB et al.) 1958-1960: box 11, RG 255, accession 66-A-l84.
- Meetings of Space Science Board, beginning to 1963: box 63, RG 255, accession 67-A-601.
- Committees for NAS/Space Science Board et al., 1958-1969: box 17, RG 255, accession 72-A-3070.
NASA, Office of Space Sciences (Office of Space Science and Applications, 1963-1971). Lunar and Planetary Programs Office.
- Chronological files:
1962-1964: box 50, RG 255, accession 74-663.
1965-1971: box 51, RG 225, accession 74-663.
- Mariner C, R, B files (reports, correspondence, etc.), 1964: boxes 3-8, RG 255, accession 65-A-836 (destroyed August 1973, and not available for reference).
- Voyager Phase IA reports and evaluations prepared by JPL June 1965 to September 1965; box 1, RG 255, accession 66-A- 1089.
- Voyager spacecraft final technical reports, July 1965; boxes 1-6, RG 225, accession 66-A-578.
- Proposals for Voyager spacecraft system, February 1965: boxes 1-2, RG 255, accession 66-A-1155.
- Proposals for Voyager spacecraft system, January 1966: boxes 1-5, RG 255, accession 67-A-785.
- Voyager spacecraft phase B contractor reports, July 1965: boxes 1-5, RG 255, accession 67-A-202.
- Reports on Voyager studies, August 1965 to November 1967; boxes 1-17, RG 255, Accession 68-A-6256.
- Reports on Voyager capsule phase B studies, August 1967: boxes 1-4, RG 255, accession 60-A-3065.
Federal Records Center, Bell, CA 90201.
- NASA, Voyager Project Office, Pasadena.
Closeout records of Voyager Project Office, 1967 and earlier: boxes 35341 through 35364, RG 255. accession 68-A-746.
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Voyager history files. 1962-1967: box 1, RG 255, accession 70-A-779.
The raw materials for the narrative of the evolution of the Viking Project were found in the files of the Viking Project Office at Langley Research Center. The files were maintained by the General Electric Corporation as part of a documentation support constract with that office. All correspondence and reports were received by the General Electric personnel stationed at Langley, who indexed the documents chronologically, coded them for easy retrieval, and microfilmed them on a Kodak Recordak microfilm-cassette format. The cassettes stored (as of 1982) in the Langley [485] Research Center Technical Library. All the paper copies of the documents were disposed of in 1978, except some groups that the authors of this history selected for their use. The papers they used in preparation of chapters 5 through Epilogue were turned over to the NASA History Office archivist in the summer of 1962. These documents ultimately will become a part of the Historian's Source Files deposited at the Washington National Records Center by the NASA Headquarters History Office.
In addition to the primary NASA documentation, which the source notes cite, a number of more conventional publications were repeatedly useful. These include;
Adelson, H. E., et al.
The Viking Lander Biology Instrument. TRW Systems Group Report 21020-6003-RU-00, August 1075. The report describes the operation of each experiment of the biology instrument and the conversion of the experimental concepts to space hardware.
American Geophysical Union.
Scientific Results of the Viking Project. Washington, 1977. Reprints of articles from Journal of Geophysical Research 82 (30 Sept. 1975).
Biemann, Hans-Peter.
The Vikings of '76. Hans-Peter Biemann, 1977.
Burgess, Eric.
To the Red Planet. Irvington, NY: Columbia University Press, 1978.
Collins, Stuart A.
The Mariner 6 and 7 Pictures of Mars. NASA SP-263. Washington, 1971.
French, Bevan M.
Mars: The Viking Discoveries. NASA EP-146. Washington, 1977.
Goodell, Rae.
The Visible Scientists. Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown, 1975.
Hartmann, William K., and Odell Raper.
The New Mars: The Discoveries of Mariner 9. NASA SP-337. Washington, 1974.
Ley, Wily.
Mariner IV to Mars. New York: New American Library, 1966. Martin Marietta Corp. The Viking Mission to Mars. Denver, 1975.
_____ , Denver Division.
"Viking Lander `as Built' Performance Capabilities." June 1976. This report was written for readers with a technical background and some familiarity with the Viking mission. Its intent is to describe the ``as-built'' capabilities of the landers and compare them with capabilities in the environments imposed during separation, entry, descent, and landing. Subsystem components whose performance was essential to mission success through landing are discussed. Particular emphasis is given to items that required performance margins because of uncertainties in the knowledge of Mars at the time.
Martin Marietta Corp.
Viking: Mars Expedition 1976. Denver, 1978.
Morgenthaler, George W.,ed.
Exploration of Mars, Proceedings of the American Astronautical Society Symposium on the Exploration of Mars. Vol. 15,
Advances in the Astronautical Sciences. Denver, 1963.
[486] Phillips, Charles R.
The Planetary Quarantine Program: Origins and Achievements, 1956-1973. NASA SP-4002. Washington, 1974.
Scientific and Technical Information Office, NASA.
Mariner- Venus 1962 Final Project Report. NASA SP-59. Washington, 1965.
_____ .
Spacecraft Sterilization Technology, Beckman ,Auditorium, Pasadena, California, 16-15, 1965. NASA SP-108. 1966.
______ .
Mariner-Mars 1964: A Preliminary Report. NASA SP-225. Washington. 1969.
______ .
Mariner- Venus 1967 Final Project Report. NASA SP-l90. Washington, 1971.
______ .
Mars as Viewed by Mariner 9: A Pictorial Presentation by the Mariner 9 Television Team and the Planetology Program Principal Investigators. NASA SP-320. Washington, 1974.
_____ .
Viking 1: Early Results. NASA SP-408. Washington, 1976.
Viking Project Office, Langley Research Center. "Viking Flight Team Organization and Staffing." 23 June 1976.
_____ .
"Viking Personnel Directory." July 1976.
_____ ,
and Viking Mission Operations, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Viking Project Mission to Mars, Viking-I Mission Timeline," Rev. 1,7 June 1976.
Viking Lander Imaging Team.
The Martian Landscape. NASA SP-425. Washington, 1978.
Washburn, Mark.
Mars at Last! New York: Putnam, 1977.
Werber, Morton.
Objectives and Models of the Planetary Quarantine Program. NASA SP-344. Washington, 1975.
Some postmission documents will be essential reading for future scholars interested in the history of the Viking Project;
Holmberg, Neil A.: Faust, Robert P.; and Holt, H. Milton.
Viking `75 Spacecraft Design and Test Summary. NASA RP-1027. Washington, 1980. Vol. l, Lander Design; vol. 2, Orbiter Design: vol. 3, Engineering and Test Summary.
Goddard Space Flight Center, National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center A for Rockets and Satellites,
Catalog of Viking Mission Data, Robert W. Vostreys, ed. NSSDC report no. 78-01. Greenbelt, Md., May 1981. This document catalogs available scientific data acquired by the Viking science teams. It is the starting point for anyone wishing to use these materials.
Tucker, Robert.
Viking Lander Imaging Investigation: Picture Catalog of Primary Mission Experiment Data Record. NASA RP-1007. Washington, [487] February 1978. A general reference for imaging data from Viking, the volume presents results of procedures applied to the imaging data to produce an organized record as complete and as error-free as possible. It contains all images returned by the two Viking landers during the primary mission. Skyline drawings display the outlines of each image.