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Titlei FROM LIVING WORLD TO A DEAD EARTH: MARS IN AMERICAN SCIENCE SINCE THE SPACE ...
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74



Mars like Mariner. These probes would orbit the planets for a period of time before moving on to

another, and, while in orbit, would launch a lander that could analyze the planet’s surface.

Although Voyager would eventually come to fruition in the 1980s to explore the outer solar

system, this was not feasible in the 1970s due to serious budget constraints.
27

In the late 1960s,

particularly after the Apollo 11 moon landing, Congress began a trend of constraining NASA’s

budget, forcing the institution to limit its ambitious projects. The government had denied NASA

funding for Voyager multiple times in the late 1960s, and, as late as 1967, “beyond 1969, NASA

had no approved planetary flights and few scientific flights of any kind.”
28

NASA scientists

anticipated reductions in personnel that would hamper the connections between NASA and

university scientists. This budget constraint appeared like a helpless scenario to some scientists,

as they realized that “the fate of a new round of proposals for planetary exploration may turn

more on events in Vietnam than on anything the space agency and its friends in Congress and the

scientific community can do to refurbish NASA’s image and explain its goals.”
29

Space

initiatives simply were not as high of a priority as ongoing struggles within American foreign

policy. Instead of Voyager, NASA decided to focus on a single Martian expedition that would

land on its surface which would cost half as much as the planned Voyager mission.
30

NASA

authorized the mission as the next major project in 1969 and requested funding from Congress

for Viking for the 1970 budget that Congress did approve.

Throughout the Mariner missions, some scientists noted that the next, logical step after

was a lander, and information collected by the Mariner missions, particularly Mariner IX, were


27

Voyagers 1 and 2 would flyby outer solar system planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, and more in the 1980s, providing

important early examinations of these worlds.
28

Luther Carter, “Planetary Exploration: How to Get by the Budget-cutters?” Science 158 (1967), 1025.
29

Ibid, 1028.
30

“Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications of the Committee on Science and

Astronautics,” U.S. Government Printing Office, November 21-22 1974, 14.

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Walter, Malcolm. The Search for Life on Mars. Cambridge, MA.: Perseus Books, 1999.

Washburn, Mark. Mars at Last! New York, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977.

Weaver, Kenneth. “Journey to Mars.” National Geographic, March 1973.

Weston, Charles. “A Strategy for Mars.” American Scientist 53, no. 4 (1965): 495-507.

Whipple, Fred. “Great Achievements in Space Exploration.” Bulletin of the American Academy

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Wilber, Charles. “Biologists’ View of Mars.” Science 149, no. 3680 (Jul 9., 1965): 135.

-----. “Exploration in Space.” BioScience 14, no. 8 (Aug., 1964): 30-34. Accessed

Wilford, John Noble. “NASA Loses Communication With Mars Observer.” The New York

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Wilford, John Noble. “Scientists are still of Two Minds about Life on Mars.” The New York

Times, November 10, 1976.

Winters, Jeffrey. “A Survey of Ancient Mars.” Discover, July 1998.

W. K. “New Vegetation Found on Mars.” New York Times, September 25, 1955.

Wolfe, Audra. Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War

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