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Mars Pathfinder Mission Status
July 13, 1997
7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time

dot.gif 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.

dot.gif 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.

dot.gif 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.

dot.gif 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.

dot.gif 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.