On This Day in History
7 August 1976
Viking 2 Enters Orbit around Mars
The Viking 2 mission was part of the American Viking program to Mars, and consisted of an orbiter and a lander essentially identical to that of the Viking 1 mission. The Viking 2 lander operated on the surface for 1316 days, or 1281 sols, and was turned off on April 11, 1980 when its batteries failed. The orbiter worked until July 25, 1978, returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars.