Mars : Global Surveyor Mission And The Mars Pathfinder Mission

1442 Words Oct 21st, 2016 6 Pages
Since the first close-up picture of Mars was obtained in 1965, there have been significant endeavours undertaken to explore the ‘Red Planet’ (National Geographic, n.d.). In particular, a number of successful missions have taken place over the last two decades and provided valuable information about Mars.
1996 - Mars Global Surveyor
In 1996, the Mars Global Surveyor mission and the Mars Pathfinder mission were launched. The Mars Global Surveyor arrived at Mars on September 12 1997, becoming the first successful mission to Mars since Viking 2 in 1976 (Mars Exploration, n.d.). The spacecraft orbited Mars for a year and a half due to a problem with one of the solar panels, until beginning to map the planet in March 1999, studying the “entire Martian surface, atmosphere and interior” (Mars Exploration, n.d.). The Mars Global Surveyor, which went silent in November 2006, facilitated the development of unparalleled insight into the changing martian landscape and seasons (Mars Exploration, n.d.).
1996 - Mars Pathfinder
The Mars Pathfinder, also launched in 1996, arrived at Mars on July 4, 1997 (The Planetary Society, 2016). According to NASA, the Mars Pathfinder and the rover it contained, Sojourner, “returned 2.3 billion bits of information, including more than 16,500 images from the lander and 550 images from the rover, as well as more than 15 chemical analyses of rocks and soil and extensive data on winds and other weather factors” (Wilson, 2012). Findings from this mission…

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