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This programme looks at current knowledge of the geology of Mars in the light of the Mariner and Viking missions to that planet.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S336, Crustal and mantle processes: case studies in Earth science
Item code: S336; 09
First transmission date: 06-10-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: P. L Firstbrook
Contributors: Mike Carr; John Guest; Hal Masursky; Tim Mutch
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Automated landers; Mariner 4; Mariner 6; Mariner 7; Mariner 9; Surface imagery; Viking
Footage description: Animation shows the Viking space craft approaching Mars. John Guest, inside the dome of the 24 inch refracting telescope at London University, introduces the programme. Shots of Mars through the telescope and of a sketch of the planet made by Lowell. Shots of Mars taken by the Mariner 6 and 9 space probes. Shots of an animated Mariner model. Commentary explains how images from the space craft were obtained. Photo of Olympus Mons, the huge Martian volcano taken with the Mariner cameras. Mike Carr, U.S. Geological Survey, examines a map of Mars based on Mariner and Viking orbital photographs. He points out the surprise finding that the tonography of the two hemispheres differs considerably and that there is evidence of intense vulcanism in the northern hemisphere in the geological past. Shots of a NASA model of the huge rift valley, Valles Marinares, which was constructed from high resolution orbital photos of Mars. Commentary by Mike Carr points out some of the more interesting features. The planet turned. Hal Masursky discusses the successive improvements in camera resolution which were achieved by NASA during the Mariner and Viking missions. He then points out that this improved resolution allows scientists to date Martian surface features by the technique of 'crater counting'' Masurski explains the technique. John Guest, with the aid of Viking and Mariner shots of Mars from space, explains in greater detail how surface features on Mars are dated without analysing rock samples. Shots of 'river' channels and of collapsed areas in the Martian tomography taken from space. Hal Masursky discusses ways in which these might have formed. He speculates that at some time in the geological past there may have been surface water present to form these features. Shots of Martian craters and of a slow motion simulation of a meteorite impact. Guest speculates that a great deal of water may be locked into the surface layers of Mars as permafrost. He cites the impact craters as evidence to support this hypothesis. Shots of a model of the Viking orbiter and model of the Viking lander on Mars. John Guest explains that while most of the knowledge of Martian geology comes from orbiter imagery, some valuable experiments were carried out by the landing craft. He points out, on the model, the equipment used for these experiments. Shots of the NASA control room for the Viking missions and shots of the Martian surface taken by the Viking lander. Commentary by Tim Mutch and John Guest explains how a safe landing site was chosen for the Viking mission. They also briefly interpret the early photographs sent back by the lander. John Guest goes on to summarise the programme. Shots of Martian volcanoes, of the Valles Marinares, and of a model of a Martian 'Rover' which could, on future missions, collect rock samples from widely scattered locations.
Master spool number: OU 3050
Production number: FOUS051A
Videofinder number: 2005
Available to public: no