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Modern Exploration Mars Pathfinder

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Modern Exploration Mars Pathfinder NASA s Mars Pathfinder mission the first spacecraft to land on Mars in more than 20 years and the first ever to send a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Modern Exploration Mars Pathfinder


1
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • NASAs Mars Pathfinder mission the first
    spacecraft to land on Mars in more than 20 years
    and the first ever to send a rover out to
    independently explore the Martian landscape is
    set for touchdown July 4, initiating a new era of
    scientific exploration that will lead eventually
    to human expeditions to the red planet.

Mars Pathfinder Landing Press Kit, July 1997
2
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • The primary mission objectives were to
    demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost landings
    on, and exploration of, the Martian surface
    (Faster, Better, Cheaper)
  • Scientific objectives included
  • atmospheric entry science
  • long-range and close-up surface imaging
  • the general objective was to characterize the
    Martian environment for further exploration

3
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • Launched December 4, 1996 landed July 4, 1997 in
    Ares Vallis which was believed to be the site of
    an ancient flood
  • Landing site selection made using Viking orbiter
    imagery
  • First rover first to use airbags

4
Modern ExplorationPathfinder
  • Landing Site Locations

5
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • Pathfinder Landing Site

6
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • Lander Instruments
  • Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP)
  • Meteorological Station
  • Rover Instruments
  • Three cameras, two stereo cameras in the front
    and a rear color imaging system cameras worked
    in tandem with a laser system to detect and
    avoid obstacles
  • Alpha-Proton-X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) assess
    the composition of rocks and soils

7
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
8
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • Notable results from Pathfinder
  • More than 16,500 images from the lander and 550
    images from the rover
  • More than 15 chemical analyses of rocks and soil
    and extensive data on winds and other weather
    factors
  • Findings from the investigations carried out by
    scientific instruments on both the lander and the
    rover suggest that Mars was at one time in its
    past warm and wet, with water existing in its
    liquid state and a thicker atmosphere

9
Modern ExplorationMars Pathfinder
  • How did Pathfinder advance scientific
    understanding of Mars?
  • Evidence on the ground for a warm, wet past
  • What technological advance(s) did Pathfinder
    carry?
  • First rover can be remotely operated
  • New landing system
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