Mars Global Surveyor Mission Status
19 Apr 1999
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
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NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft is no longer in contingency mode and this afternoon flight controllers have turned the entire spacecraft to point the high-gain telecommunications antenna toward Earth. The spacecraft is now using that antenna to playback telemetry information that controllers believe will help them further diagnose what caused the hinge on the antenna to stop moving last Thursday night.
While no attempt has been made yet to move the hinge, engineers are hopeful the data that have been returned today will contain clues about what caused the hinge to stop moving. During the weekend controllers sent a series of commands to the spacecraft that turned off the hinge's motor. The spacecraft used its star scanner to find reference points in space and establish its orientation. The science instruments remain turned off.
It is expected that later in the week engineers will send commands to the spacecraft to move the hinge a small amount in order to better understand its condition.
Mars Global Surveyor is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL's industrial partner is Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO, which developed and operates the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.
Further information about the mission is on the Internet at: