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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

4 April 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 64 million kilometers from Earth. The most significant spacecraft activity performed this week was to switch to a new convolutional code, K=15, Rate 1/6, on our downlink. This code gives us a significant increase in our downlink capability. Mars Pathfinder is the first spacecraft to operationally use this code with the DSN and we are very pleased with the results.

The project conducted a meeting to discuss Flight Software changes for Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) and Surface phases of the mission. These changes are to correct bugs found during testing performed since launch. We expect to finalize these changes and prepare for loading them onboard within the next two months.

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