Mars Polar Lander Launch Animations & Photos
6 Jan 1999
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Animations of the launch of the Mars Polar Lander have been added to the Mars Surveyor 98 home page:
Also, new high-resolution pre-launch photos of the Mars Polar Lander have been added:
Mars Polar Lander Fairing Fitting On The Delta II Rocket
The Mars Polar Lander spacecraft was launched on a Delta II rocket on January 3, 1999. The lander is a solar-powered spacecraft designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south polar cap, which consists carbon dioxide ice. The lander will study the polar water cycle, frosts, water vapor, condensates and dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is equipped with a robotic arm to dig beneath the layered terrain at the polar cap. In addition, Deep Space 2 microprobes, developed by NASA's New Millennium Program, are installed on the lander's cruise stage. After crashing into the planet's surface, they will conduct two days of soil and water experiments up to 1 meter (3 feet) below the Martian surface, testing new technologies for future planetary descent probes. The lander is the second spacecraft to be launched in a pair of Mars Surveyor '98 missions. The first is the Mars Climate Orbiter, which was launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Launch.
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