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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

11 April 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 71 million kilometers from Earth. The only spacecraft activities performed this week were a regular ASI/MET health check, a Heat Rejection System Pump B cycle, and some modification to Attitude Control Subsystem fault protection parameters. The total flight time since launch is now 128 days, and we have 85 days until Mars arrival.

We successfully completed an operational readiness test of all activities from Mars entry -2 days through Sol 2. This test was performed using the Pathfinder Testbed and Mars Sandbox. The Mars approach phase included periodic updates to the
Entry, Descent, and Landing flight software parameter set and execution of a contingency Trajectory Correction Maneuver #5. We are investigating a minor problem which occurred during airbag retraction, which did not significantly effect the test. The surface operations test included a planned failure of the High Gain Antenna and subsequent Low Gain Antenna operations.

John Wellman and Matt Golombek attended a special Project Science Group meeting at NASA Headquarters to discuss data rights issues and the role of the participating scientists. A number of useful discussions were held and a draft policy on these issues was developed.

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