First manned landing on Mars! This Northrop sketch shows how a soft landing on the red planet might look from ground level. A steerable gliding cloverleaf parachute slows the craft down as the retrorockets start to fire. The parachute is then jettisoned, and the retrorockets perform the final maneuver for touchdown. Retrorocket braking was perfected in the 1960’s to provide the soft landings for the Surveyor moon probe.
Project Viking: Space Conquest Beyond the Moon
by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970
Image credit: NASA
Image source: Numbers Station