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July 24, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-24

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Saturday, July 24, 1976

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Technical problems slow Mars photos

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) --
Viking 1 scientists were confi-
dent yesterday they could solve
the malfunction in the scoop
that is to dig around for life
on Mars.
The scoop jammed Thursday
during a test, but Viking proj-
ect manager James Martin said
a team of experts diagnosed
the problem and believe they
can fix it.
AT A SPECIAL briefing yes-
terday, scientists at Jet Pro-
pulsion Laboratory showed re-
porters how they hoped to cor-
rect the malfunction.
They tried their theory on a
twin scoop in a sandbox at JPI,
and were able to get it work-
insg.
The corrective action will be
radioed to Viking on Sunday,
three days hefore the rohot
lander is to reach out, grah
a bit of Mars and drop it into
a tiny biology lab.
OTHER TECHNICAL prob-
lens on the Viking prevented
a camera from sending sched-
uled color photographs yester-
day. Some black and white pic-
tures were sent; they revealed
some hills and the largest rock
yet seen hy the Viking came-
ras-.
The measurements of the rock
will not be known until addi-
tional pictures are taken, sci-
entists said.
Htwever, even the black and
white picture signals were
weak, producing a fragmented
effect on the images. Viewing
the phsttgraphs, marked by
long, blck lines, was like peer-
ing into t a tmt through a
batboo curtain.
YET ANOTHER trouble spot
aboard the Martian science
probe was a malfunctioning seis-
mometer, designed to measure
and locate Marsquakes. The
locks designed to hold the de-
vice in place during launch and

touchdown refused to release,
leaving the meter unworkable.
Scientists were uncertain what
caused the seismotmeter locks
to jam. The only course of ac-
tion is to send up another "on-
lock" comntmand. That order will
be gi-en to the lander on Mon-
day, Martin said.
If the prohletns on the land-
er cantot he solved, the experi-
nsental potential of the first por-
tion of the mission would be
greatly altered.
The prohe's searclh for life
would he virtually crippled, re-
lying tlmost exclusively on vis-
ual images to search for liv-
ing organisms. Such an effort
would likely fail becatmse any
life on Mars would probahly be
nimcroscopic.
If Vikii,g I fails, there will
he even tore hopes ridingf on
Viking It. The sectsad lander is
due to touch down Sept. 4 and
has already been t-rgeted for
a riskier territory itt the north-
ern regionst of Mars.
BOTH TE AMS AT HOME
NEW YORK (AP) - Both
the Netw York Yankees and
New Ysrk Mets will be playing
home night gamtes Aug. 2. The
Yankees ttost the Detroit Tigers
in refurbished Yankee Stadium
that night and the Mets take on
the Mantretl Expos to start a
three-gamte series with the Ca-
nadian representative.

U U U

AP Photo
USING A WORKING MODEL of the Viking I lander at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena,
Don Crouch of the Viking Surface Sampler Team works at pre-programing the Viking soil-
scooping arm, which has become stuck. He's using a yardstick to measure distances. A
wire leads from him to the computer which will tell Viking where to dig when the time
comes.

JOHN FORD'S

1956

THE SEARCHERS
John Wayne, Ward Bond and Natalie Wood star in this epic Ford film about
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1934

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
Winner of five major Academy Awards, this wonderfully warm, funny and
moving comedy is a story of a fugitive heiress and a rebellious reporter who
loves her. Debonair Clark Cable and talented Colette Cobert make a hand-
some. pair.
A runaway romance between a tough guy and a society girl - a rough
diamond and a polished jewel.

CINEMA TONIGHTAT
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