A

David

Darling

Viking sampler arm

Viking sampler arm

The Viking sampler arm was a device used to acquire specimens of soil from the Martian surface for use in the chemical and biological investigations carried out by the Viking landers. The sampler could also dig trenches (which, as the lunar Surveyor spacecraft had shown, was a valuable way of learning about the surface) and provide other data about the physical properties of the surface materials using a temperature sensor, brush, and magnets. It consisted of a head attached to the end of a 3-meter-long retractable boom.