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Mars Pathfinder
Welcome to Mars

October 8, 1997 Press Conference Images

Press Conference Day

Dr. Greg Wilson


Here is a comparison of the most recent 24-hour met sessions. Note the general trend of increasing pressure with time into the mission. This indicates that the South polar cap is reducing, freeing C02 into the atmosphere. Also note small pressure features around noon, which we think are "dust-devils."


In this figure you can see a significant increase in pressure on Sol 81. This is an indication of a frontal system has moved across the landing sight.


This temperature figure shows the change in the mean and variance of the temperature fluctuations at the Pathfinder landing site. Sol 79 and 80 are very similar, with a significant reduction of the mean and variance on Sol 81. The science team suspects that a cold front has past of the landing sight between Sols 80 and 81.

8 October 1997, 12:00 p.m. PDT

The Mars Pathfinder operations team reestablished communications with the lander on Sol 92 of the mission, after four days of silence from the spacecraft. The team received a transmission from the spacecraft's main transmitter. The signal was detected using the Madrid, Spain 34-meter antenna.

No data was received, but receipt of a spacecraft signal indicates that the lander is operational and the battery is off- line. Meanwhile, the rover, which is programmed to begin a contingency sequence when it has not heard from the lander for five days, started that activity on Sol 90. In this mode of operation, the rover is instructed to return to the lander and begin circling it.

The Mars Pathfinder operations team will repeat commands tomorrow night, on Sol 93, to verify two-way communications with the lander's main transmitter and attempt to return engineering data on the health of the lander and rover. If successful, that information would be returned the following day, on Sol 94 of the mission

For further information on the Mars Pathfinder Mission, please call our Mission Status Report line at 1-800-391-6654.