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January 30, 1999

Mars Climate Orbiter

Mars Climate Orbiter continues to perform well in early cruise. Development of the third housekeeping sequence for MCO has been completed. The sequence is scheduled for uplink this weekend, and will go active on Tuesday morning (Feb. 2) of next week. This sequence includes a brief power up of the PMIRR instrument, in order to collect temperature data from the focal plane assembly confirming successful movement of the instrument's cooler door to the "vent" position on 23 Dec. 98 when PMIRR was powered on for the first time in flight.

Mars Polar Lander

Mars Polar Lander continues to operate nominally under the control of its first housekeeping sequence. Earlier this week a software patch was successfully installed onboard the spacecraft to correct minor errors discovered earlier in the number of significant digits used to represent some telemetry data types produced by the star camera software object. This morning, the lander successfully executed a series of three different slew maneuvers designed to expose the active star camera to different levels of backshell illumination in its vicinity. A series of 12 star camera images were recorded during these maneuvers, which will be used by the attitude control group to establish the attitude envelope over which the camera can properly identify star patterns.

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