Viking Lander at the Museum of Flight: Landing Leg 1

Viking Lander at the Museum of Flight: Landing Leg 1
Viking Lander at the Museum of Flight: Landing Leg 1 At the center of this image is landing leg 1, one of three on the hexagonal lander body. This leg's upper strut is missing its white fabric contamination fairing (partly visible on legs 2 and 3 -- the thick diagonal cylinders -- in the upper left and right background). The leg's core is filled with aluminum honeycomb which crushes on landing to absorb impact. The striped stroke or depth gauge rod extends upward as the leg compresses during landing, revealing more 1/4-inch bands above the leg's top cap (properties of Mars soil can be deduced from the result). Some of the lander's complex brackets and fittings are also visible here thanks to the missing external equipment. Tom Dahl

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