RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends September 12th
Remarkable Rarities Auction Preview
Begins Sep 13
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019 Auction Calendar
Jan 9
Jan 17
Feb 6
Feb 21
Mar 6
Mar 14
Apr 10
Apr 18
May 8
May 16
May 23
Jun 12
Jun 20
Jul 10
Jul 18
Aug 7
Aug 15
Sep 12
Sep 21
Sep 25
Oct 10
Oct 17
Nov 6
Nov 21
Dec 4
Dec 12
  View All Dates & Deadlines

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

Back To Previous Page
(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.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.