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  Possible Mars Viking-related patch?

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Author Topic:   Possible Mars Viking-related patch?
David Carey
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posted 11-07-2019 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anybody ever seen this patch? 

3" diameter for circular portion, bare back.

From NASA PAO estate but unclear if NASA-related.

Mars/male symbol shape plus "V" makes me think Viking Mars Lander. PAO at NASA during Viking, but unknown beyond that and no pointers from this earlier Viking emblem thread.

Any insights/facts/guesses appreciated!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-07-2019 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't seen the patch, but I have seen the design before — in fact, it was published here in 2016.
This symbol is the traditional shield and spear symbolic of the planet Mars. The "V" on the shield has been added to represent Viking's mission to the red planet.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 11-07-2019 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I recall, but I'll re-check on it, it was used by aerospace Viking contractor RCA.

David Carey
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posted 11-13-2019 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert, and Ken.

Viking for sure and Martin Marietta or other contractor sounds right.

My only remaining question is (was?) the significance of the 13 stars. Best guess is they denote the number of scientific investigation teams involved with Viking.

In the September 1977 Journal of Geophysical Research, Viking chief scientist Gerald Soffen writes:

Thirteen investigations were performed: three mapping experiments from the orbiter, one atmospheric investigation during the lander entry phase, eight experiments on the surface of the planet, and one using the spacecraft radio and radar systems. The experiments on the surface dealt principally with biology, chemistry, geology, and meteorology. Seventy‐eight scientists have participated in the 13 teams performing these experiments.
Other theories welcomed of course.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-13-2019 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is that the stars were added and the coloring adjusted from previous uses of the logo to mark America's bicentennial, which coincided with the Viking missions in 1976.

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
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posted 11-13-2019 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently, the emblem had been printed on a Viking Mission to Mars RCA cachet cover for the twin Viking landers in 1976 and I do believe the 13 stars represent the original 13 colonies or states of the U.S. as in 1776.

But also printed in text on the cachet covers from RCA's Government and Commercial Systems in Moorestown, NJ, is, "Viking Lander Communications built by RCA for Martin Marietta/Viking Project Manager--NASA Langley." Perhaps it was a joint RCA/Martin Marietta designed patch effort with NASA's Langley approval?

David Carey
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posted 11-13-2019 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nod to the bicentennial makes perfect sense.

I was probably just overthinking that one but, hey, maybe it had both meanings!

Ken, spot on with the RCA cover. Clearly RCA was a party to the starred design's use if not its creator. Given your pointer, I found a picture of the referenced cover here.

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