Goals: Mars Global Surveyor was sent to the Red Planet to study the surface features and geological processes; determine the composition, distribution and physical properties of minerals, rocks and ice; map global topography and monitor the planet's weather.

Accomplishments: Mars Global Surveyor operated longer at Mars than any other spacecraft of its time, and for more than four times as long as the prime mission originally planned. The spacecraft returned detailed information that has overhauled our understanding of Mars. Major findings include dramatic evidence that water still flows in short bursts down hillside gullies, and identification of deposits of water-related minerals leading to selection of a Mars rover landing site.

Mars News