Status as of 00:00 UTC 19 September (DOY 262, Friday Evening):
The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft remains in "contingency mode" in a safe and stable state at the end of the day. Downlink remains at 10 bps and the uplink is at 7.8 bps.
With the exception of the power subsystem Mode Controller, all other spacecraft hardware which had switched to the redundant sides has been returned to the primary side, with the hardware and software redundancy restored. The Mode Controller will be commanded back to Primary on Saturday morning during the DSS15/14 support period, when the 70M ground station will increase the visibility into the spacecraft for this event. There is some slight possibility that the power bus transient which will occur with the Mode Controller swap will cause a repeat of the other component side swaps which will necessitate re-commanding units back to their primary sides. If necessary, this will be pursued over the weekend.
Return to Normal Operations:
The balance of the weekend will be spent building and testing command sequences which will recover the spacecraft from Contingency Mode and return the spacecraft to normal operations. These uplinks will commence Sunday evening. The spacecraft is current projected to return to high-gain antenna operations shortly after Periapsis 570 (Appr. 98-265T02:40, Monday Evening)
Resumption of Aerobraking:
During the day on Monday, the Navigation and Spacecraft Teams will complete the redesign of the first aerobraking maneuver (AB-1) which is currently scheduled to execute near Apoapsis 573 (appr 98-266T18:00, Mid-day Wednesday) during the DSS15 support. Another drag rehearsal sequence will be executed at Periapsis 573 outside of the atmosphere, prior to the maneuver execution near Apoapsis 573. On Tuesday morning, an Aerobraking Reset Meeting will be held at 15:00 UTC (8:00 Pacific, 9:00 Mountain). The first drag pass is expected to be at Periapsis 574 on Wednesday evening.