Viking 1 Enters Mars Orbit

Viking SpacecraftJune 19, 1976

The Viking 1 spacecraft enters into orbit around the planet Mars, 10 months after being launched from Earth. Viking 1 would become the first US spacecraft to land on Mars and the first spacecraft overall to successfully soft land and perform a mission on Mars. Viking 1 operated on Mars for 2,307 days which equates to over 6 1/4 years or 2245 Martian solar days, which was the longest Mars surface mission until the record was broken by the Opportunity rover in May of 2010.