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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status

25 April 1997

The spacecraft remains in good health and is currently about 88 million kilometers from Earth. Major activities performed this week included a regularly scheduled attitude turn to maintain Earth point. We also transitioned to the Late Cruise mission phase and switched in the fourth and final solar panel quadrant. The total flight time since launch is now 142 days, and we have 71 days until Mars arrival.

We successfully completed a week long surface Operational Readiness Test (ORT #5). The purpose of this test was to train team members on operational processes and procedures and verify nominal surface operations plans. Although we had some early difficulties deploying the rover, the test was a great learning experience and an overall success. We did discover several issues with our tools and processes that we will correct prior to ORT #6 (scheduled for May 19).

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