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Mars Global Surveyor Mission Status
Mars Global Surveyor Mission Status
10 Mar 1999
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft successfully began its prime mapping mission at 4 p.m. Pacific time March 8, 1999.

The spacecraft is executing a sequence of commands with its high-gain antenna in a fixed position. During this sequence, Global Surveyor records science data for nine orbits (about 18 hours) when all the instruments are pointed at Mars and then spends three orbits (about six hours) pointed at Earth playing back the data. The playbacks occur roughly between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pacific time each day.

During the playback orbits, the flight team can receive data from Global Surveyor only when the spacecraft is in view of Earth. For about half of each orbit, there is no communication with the spacecraft because it is behind Mars and out of view. The data, when received on the ground, are one day old. For example, the data being returned today were recorded between 4 p.m. Pacific time on Monday and 9 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday.

New images from Global Surveyor taken during last week's camera calibration will be released each day for the rest of this week. Starting next week, new images from the mapping phase will be posted to the Internet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The images are available at: and

There will be no new images during the week of March 29 when the deployment of the spacecraft's high gain antenna is scheduled to occur.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001