FUN FACT: The Vikings were originally meant to be launched aboard the Saturn V launch vehicles, known for the launching the Apollo Moon missions and the Skylab space station into space (i.e. LOTS of hardware). The Vikings (each an orbiter/lander combination) were without question the most massive interplanetary missions of their era.
This Titan/Centaur combo would be used for other long-distance space treks (the Helios probes, and both Voyagers). Sadly, this beast of a launch vehicle was last used for the Voyager 1 launch in September 1977. I still have a model of the mighty Titan IIIE/Centaur in my house.
I'll be writing a bit more about Viking program in the near future. For now, enjoy another photo of a beast at work (different spacecraft, same launch vehicle):
|Once again, click on the image or this link for a better look. Viking 2 launches, also utilizing a Titan IIIE/Centaur, from CCAFS' LC-41 on Sept. 9, 1975. Photo Credit: NASA|