Lot #3660
Viking Spacecraft Simulator Test Kit

This lot has closed

Estimate: $1000+


Viking Spacecraft Simulator test kit, with plate on the top of the case reading: "Viking Spacecraft Simulator, Ref. Desig. 2182." A JPL label on the side reads: "Project: VO75, Ref. Desig. 2182, Part No. 10059130, Rev. Lt. A, Serial No. 1, Nomenclature: Assy—Viking Spacecraft Simulator (VSS)." The unit weighs approximately 78 lbs, and contains its original cables (also with S/N 001). JPL stamped stickers are dated 5/30/74 and 6/6/74 (the year before Viking 1 and 2 took flight).

45 years ago, the first successful Mars landers touched down on the red planet. The U.S. Viking program was the first attempt to detect signs of life on the Martian surface. This spacecraft simulator was used in the years prior to test the various control systems used to manage the mission.

From NASA Facts: Viking Mission to Mars: "The Viking orbiter was stabilized in flight by locking onto the Sun for pitch and yaw references and onto the star Canopus for roll reference. The attitude control subsystem kept this attitude with nitrogen gas jets located at the solar panel tips. The jets would fire to correct any drift.

Two on-board general purpose computers in the computer command subsystem decoded commands and either ordered the desired function at once or stored the commands in a 4,096-word plated-wire memory. All orbiter events were controlled by the computer command subsystem, including correction maneuvers, engine burns, science sequences and high-gain antenna pointing."

This piece will be crated and shipped from California; the buyer is responsible for all associated costs.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #619 - Ended October 21, 2021