MARS SURVEYOR 98 MAILING LIST
The Mars Surveyor 98 status reports and press releases are now available via
email (subscription instructions appended below). Join us on our journey to
Mars, both in orbit around the red planet and also from the surface of the
red planet. Following in the footsteps of Mars Global Surveyor and
Mars Pathfinder, the two Mars Surveyor 98 spacecraft will take advantage of
the 1998 launch opportunity to Mars which is available every 26 months.
The "Volatiles and Climate History" theme for the 1998 Mars Surveyor
missions was recommended by the Mars Science Working Group and is aligned directly with NASA''s Mars exploration strategy for the next decade focusing on: Evidence of past or present life, Climate, and Resources.
MARS CLIMATE ORBITER
The 1998 orbiter mission (Mars Climate Orbiter) is scheduled for launch in
in December 1998 and will arrive in orbit around Mars in September 1999.
The orbiter will carry a rebuilt version of the Mars Observer
Pressure Modulated Infrared Radiometer (PMIRR) with Dr. Daniel McCleese of
JPL as Principal Investigator, and the Mars Color Imaging (MARCI) system
with Dr. Michael Malin, of Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) as Principal
Investigator. PMIRR will observe the global distribution and time variation
of temperature, pressure, dust, water vapor, and condensates in the Martian
atmosphere. MARCI will observe synoptically Martian atmospheric processes at global scale and study details of the interaction of the atmosphere with the
surface at a variety of scales in both space and time. In addition to the
science payload, the orbiter spacecraft will provide an on-orbit data relay
capability for future U.S. and/or international surface stations.
MARS POLAR LANDER
For the first time ever, we will be landing in the polar regions of Mars
with the Mars Polar Lander. Scheduled for launch in January 1999, the
spacecraft will land on Mars in December 1999.
The science complement for the 1998 lander includes: the Mars Volatile and
Climate Surveyor (MVACS) integrated lander payload with Dr. David Paige of
UCLA as Principal Investigator, the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) with Dr.
Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems as Principal Investigator, and
an atmospheric lidar experiment provided by the Russian Space Agency
Institute for Space Science. Dr. Paige's integrated lander payload includes
a Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) with Mars Pathfinder heritage; a meteorology
package (MET); an instrumented robotic arm (RA) for sample acquisition, soil
manipulation, and close up imaging of the surface and subsurface; and the
Thermal and Evolved Gas Analysis (TEGA) experiment for determining the
nature and abundance of volatile material in the Martian soil. The descent
images obtained by MARDI while the lander spacecraft descends to the surface
will establish the geological and physical context of the landing site. The
atmospheric lidar experiment will determine the dust content of the Martian
atmosphere above the landing site.
DEEP SPACE 2 MICROPROBES
Piggybacking on the Mars 98 lander are two small microprobes.
Separating from the lander just prior to entry into the Martian atmosphere, the two microprobes will slam into the surface of Mars at a velocity of 200 meters
per second. The aeroshell on each probe will shatter to release the science
package which will penetrate up to 2 meters into the soil. The microprobes
will determine if water ice is present in the Martian subsurface, and will
also measure the temperature and monitor the local Martian weather.
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