On July 25, 1976, the Viking I spacecraft went into orbit around Mars. It's mission: to search for a potential landing site for the Viking Lander, America's mission to search for life on Mars.
During one of Viking I's routine passes over the Mars' Cydonia region, known for its plains-like topography with isolated mesas and buttes, the Orbiter photographed a strange looking rock formation. After extensive image processing within NASA, an image resembling a human or ape head emerged. This formation became notoriously known as the "Face on Mars."
This is the story of Viking, the Face on Mars, and the most recent discoveries from new images beamed back to earth from the Mars Global Surveyor, a small spacecraft that even now is orbiting Mars mapping the surface.