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orbiter (Viking)click to hear

Part of the probe that flies over a celestial body before placing itself in orbit around the latter and studying it; the two Viking orbiters were launched in 1975.
orbiter (Viking) thruster engine star tracker solar panel infrared thermal mapper camera attitude control thruster low gain antenna high gain antenna

thruster engine click to hear

Machine that burns a liquid fuel mixture, thereby providing thrust.

star tracker click to hear

Instrument that serves to direct the probe, in Viking’s case pointing it toward the star Canopus.

solar panel click to hear

Power supply device that converts solar energy into immediately usable electrical energy.

infrared thermal mapper click to hear

Instrument used to analyze the surface and atmosphere of a celestial body by measuring its temperature variations.

camera click to hear

Captures thousands of images, thereby providing an overall view of the celestial body.

attitude control thruster click to hear

Small rocket engine that directs the orbiter to the desired position.

low gain antenna click to hear

Secondary antenna used to communicate with Earth when the high gain antenna cannot be used.

high gain antenna click to hear

Principal antenna pointed toward Earth to transmit large quantities of scientific data as well as photographs.