NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Atmospheric Structure

NSSDCA ID: 1975-075C-02

Mission Name: Viking 1 Lander
Principal Investigator:Prof. Alfred O. C. Nier


The entry science atmospheric structure experiment (one of three that were part of the entry science investigation) studied the Martian atmosphere below an altitude of 132 km. A variety of instruments (accelerometers, radar altimeters, thermometers, pressure sensors) collected data to provide altitude profiles of pressure and temperature of the atmosphere and acceleration of the lander capsule. From these data, atmospheric density and mean atomic mass can be calculated.

Alternate Names

  • Neutral Mass Spectrometer Accel., Press. and Temp Sensors Retard. Poten. Analyzer
  • Viking1Lander/AtmosphericStructure
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:fts.vl1

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Prof. Alfred O. C. NierTeam LeaderUniversity of Minnesota
Dr. Nelson W. SpencerTeam MemberNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Alvin SeiffTeam MemberNASA Ames Research Center

Selected References

  • Nier, A. O., et al., Entry science experiments for Viking 1975, Icarus, 16, No. 1, 74-91, doi:10.1016/0019-1035(72)90138-8, 1972.
[] NASA Logo -