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Photo Album of MGS Spacecraft

Assembly, Testing, Arrival and Launch Operations


The pages listed below contain pictures of the MGS spacecraft as it has been built up from its component pieces, been tested, moved to the Cape from Denver and some of the final preparations for launch. The collections are listed in chronological order.

Please choose from: Assembly, Testing, Arrival, or Launch




The MGS Component Assembly page shows the various subassemblies, parts and panels that form the foundation of the spacecraft (Linked page contains this image and 7 other related pictures).


Next we assemble these components into the propulsion and electronics equipment modules, and when those are brought together we finally have a spacecraft! This is shown in the S/C Build-Up Pictures (Linked page contains this image and 13 other related images).


Once the nearly complete spacecraft has had its electronics thoroughly tested, it's ready to be moved from the assembly area to the environmental test facilities. The Spacecraft Move Pictures may not look scary to you, but we all sure held our breaths! (Linked page contains this image and 11 other related images).




During the environmental test phase, the spacecraft was subjected to simulations of the harsh launch environment, and readied for a two week trial in a large vacuum chamber that will simulate the conditions in space. These pictures of the final system tests in Denver show some of the activities involved in acoustic and thermal-vacuum testing (Linked page contains this image plus 8 related images).


The spacecraft was spin-balanced and the inertial properties measured with the tanks full of isopropyl alcohol. These movies show the spacecraft spinning at 20 rpm! Same movie, two formats: 663k Quicktime movie or 816k MPEG movie


The spacecraft has successfully passed all environmental tests and is now ready to ship to the Cape! The MGS spacecraft will be shipped from Denver to the Cape in a USAF C-17. These pictures of the fit checks show some of the preparations to insure readiness for the flight (Linked page contains this image and 8 related images).




The spacecraft finally arrives at the Cape! Follow this link to see the first pictures of MGS in Florida (Linked page contains this image and 5 related images)


After arrival at the Cape, the spacecraft is prepared for final system tests, installation of the solar arrays and flight thermal blankets, and made ready for prop loading and integration on to the third stage. Here are a few pictures of those operations (Linked page contains this image and 3 related images).


In parallel with the spacecraft preparations in the PHSF (the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, where we load our own rocket fuel), the Delta II launch vehicle is being assembled at LC-17A, a.k.a. "The Pad" (Linked page contains this image and 6 related images).




After a one day delay due to weather, the MGS Launch day of Novmeber 7th has arrived. Follow this link to see pictures of the MGS Launch to Mars! (Linked page contains these 3 images and 4 other related images


Follow these links to view a video of the MGS launch. Same movie, two formats: 707k Quicktime movie or 680k MPEG movie.


MGS: Last seen heading for Mars!