PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Mars Pathfinder Mission Status
July 13, 1997
7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Mars Pathfinder's lander transmitted to Earth one-third of
a sweeping color panorama image, as well as engineering
data to help flight controllers fine-tune spacecraft
operations, during the Martian day that just ended.
The flight team expects the lander to take and transmit
image frames for the other two-thirds of the color
panorama tonight. Much as landscape painters often work
at the same time of day over a number of days, the
exposures of the Martian panorama are divided over
successive days so that lighting conditions are consistent
in various portions of the 360-degree image.
Pathfinder's lander also transmitted 3 megabytes of
engineering data, including all data available on why the
lander's computer reset itself Friday evening. The flight
team is continuing work to understand and correct the
problem, but it appears to be related to the behavior of
software that manages interaction between activities
running on the computer. The team has already sent an
initial set of commands aimed at preventing future resets.
The team also sent commands for the Sojourner rover,
instructing it to stand by for another day. Mission
managers wanted to receive the color image panorama and
engineering data before resuming rover exploration of the
landing site. The team will decide later today whether to
initiate any rover activities tonight.
The downlink session began at 11:15 p.m. Pacific Daylight
Time Saturday night and lasted about an hour. Earth set
at the landing site was at 4:27 a.m. PDT, and sunset was
at 6:56 a.m. -- concluding Pathfinder's ninth day on Mars,
or Sol 9.