April 08, 2012

Viking Lander


So I was sketching a scene in the local cemetery. After my drawing, I noticed a headstone with something unusual. It was for a sailor who died at sea by the name of Viking Lander. Immediately, I thought of the Viking Mars mission from the 1970's. It had a Viking Orbiter and a Viking Lander!
When I first saw this I thought it was an odd name... and he couldn't have been named after the the space probe by sci-fi nerd parents. He lived and died long before humans had put anything in space.
The original Viking Lander accidentally drowned at sea. According to Wikipedia, Earth lost contact with the Mars Viking Lander because of a... "Human error during software update caused the lander's antenna to go down, terminating communication." That makes both deaths sudden accidents. The obvious differences are that the remains are over 60 years apart on two different planets.