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Item 636 - Viking Program Biological Instrument S/N 104 Catalog 442 (Nov 2014)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Sold Price: $55,831.83 (includes buyer's premium)


The only flight ready unit on Earth (Smithsonian’s S/N103 is incomplete and not flight ready—S/N105 and 106 are on Mars). Dimensions are: 34″H x 11″W x 14″D and weight is exactly 15.471kg. The top of the unit houses the stainless steel ‘flower’ receptacle, which would be opened via a pneumatic bolt to receive Martian soil samples deposited by the robotic scoop on the Viking lander (scoop not included). After receiving the sample, it could be heated to different temperatures and passed through a column into a lower chamber where the sample would be distributed into one of three experiments. Unit is housed in a professional 8020 aluminum frame with heavy polycarbonate clear viewing panels. All parts are present and connected as they were when this unit was readied for a Mars mission. Purchased directly from NASA Langley, the headquarters for the Viking biological research group. In fine, never used, condition. Extensive research material is available online.

Two Viking landers carried three types of biological experiments to the Martian surface in the late 1970s to look for any evidence of life on the planet. As the two landers were identical, the same three experiments were carried out in different locations. Despite the successful completion of all the experiments, no traces of any organic compounds were found on the surface, and the general scientific community declared that Viking’s biological tests were inconclusive. However, in 2012, the data from the LR Experiment was re-analyzed and some scientist believe it may have indeed detected life. With two other units left on the Martian surface, this is the only flight ready unit remaining on our planet (supported by cited NASA references online). Bidding Note: Winning bidder is responsible for cost of shipping artifact from origin to destination. Please call RR Auction for more information. RR Auction COA.

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