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Fordward: MARS POLAR LANDER MISSION STATUS



I don't know if this would show any interest to you guys. But it does to
me. I am not in HAM yet. I am just learning. So give me time. Amd i am in
the prossess or moving. After i get settled, i am going to see about
getting my ticket.

James

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Buckingham-1, Bruce" <Bruce.Buckingham-1@pp.ksc.nasa.gov>
To: "'1 SHUTTLE-STATUS@news.ksc.nasa.gov'"
<shuttle-status@news.ksc.nasa.gov>,"'1 
KSC-PRESS-RELEASE@news.ksc.nasa.gov'"
<ksc-press-release@news.ksc.nasa.gov>
Subject: MARS POLAR LANDER MISSION STATUS
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 16:56:07 -0500 
Message-ID:
<237E91874482D211A8520000F8024C290CAB60@kscmbs20.ksc.nasa.gov>

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov 

MARS POLAR LANDER MISSION STATUS
January 3, 1999

	Mars Polar Lander - due to become the first spacecraft to set
down
near the edge of Mars' southern polar cap  -- pierced through a blustery,
cloud-covered Florida sky at 3:21 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today atop a
Delta II launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Station's Launch Complex
17B.  The spacecraft, launched successfully on the first day of the
launch
period, is equipped with a robotic arm to dig beneath the layered terrain
of
the Martian polar region and two microprobes to crash into the planet's
surface and conduct two days of soil and water experiments up to 1 meter
(3
feet) below the Martian surface. 

	Sixty-six seconds after liftoff, the Delta's four solid-rocket
strap-on boosters were jettisoned.  Firing of the main first-stage engine
lasted approximately 4 minutes, 24 seconds. Eight seconds later, the
first
stage was discarded, and 5.5 seconds later the second stage ignited. Four
and a half seconds after that, the nose cone surrounding the lander was
jettisoned.  The second-stage burn lasted 6 minutes, 44 seconds and
placed
the spacecraft into a low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 191 kilometers
(119
miles).  The spacecraft coasted over the Indian Ocean for approximately
23
minutes before the second stage engine fired briefly a second time.

	The third stage fired for 88 seconds at 3:57 p.m. EST to propel
the
spacecraft out of Earth's gravity and on its way to Mars.  At 4:03 p.m.
EST,
Mars Polar Lander separated from the third stage. A set of solar panels
located on the spacecraft's outer cruise stage  were deployed shortly
thereafter and pointed at the Sun.  At 4:19 p.m. EST, the lander's signal
was acquired by a 34-meter-diameter (112-foot) antenna of NASA's Deep
Space
Network in Canberra, Australia.  

	Mars Polar Lander's interplanetary cruise to Mars will take it
more
than 180 degrees around the Sun in what is called a Type 2 trajectory,
allowing the spacecraft to target a landing zone close to Mars' south
pole
at 73 to 76 degrees south latitude.

Throughout the cruise, the spacecraft will communicate with Earth using
its
X-band transmitter and medium-gain horn antenna mounted on the cruise
stage.
During the first 30 days of flight, the spacecraft will be tracked 10 to
12
hours per day.  Quiet phases of the trip will require only four hours of
tracking time each day.

	The spacecraft is scheduled to fire its thrusters in a trajectory
correction maneuver January 18.  That maneuver is designed to remove a
targeting bias intended to prevent the third stage of the Delta II rocket
from following in the lander's flight path and colliding with Mars, as
well
as any small launch injection errors. That maneuver is expected to take
approximately 5 minutes to execute.

Mars Polar Lander is the second of two spacecraft launched to the red
planet
during the December 1998-January 1999 Mars launch opportunity.  Mars
Climate
Orbiter was launched December 11, and is scheduled to reach Mars next
September 23.  Onboard Mars Polar Lander are two microprobes developed as
the Deep Space 2 project under NASA's New Millennium Program.  The Deep
Space 2 probes will smash into the Martian surface as a test of new
technologies for future planetary descent probes.

#####








--------- End forwarded message ----------

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