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


[317] With site selection behind them, the landing site working group members faced two more tasks-completing their individual commitments to science teams and certifying the Martian landing areas they had chosen. They were reasonably hopeful that the targets were safe ones, but they could be certain only after they had examined additional Earth-based radar studies and the orbital pictures Viking 1 would send back from Mars. Careful certification of each Viking site would have to be carried out before the landers descended to the Martian surface, but no one expected certification to pose real difficulties now that they were over the hurdle of finding suitable targets. These expectations would be dashed in June 1975.